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70% of HK Restaurants Switch to Sustainable Tableware

In a heartening display of environmental responsibility, a staggering 70% of Hong Kong’s restaurants have made the switch to alternative cutlery and utensils, just one month into the single-use plastics ban.

According to the Environment and Ecology Bureau, a staggering 4,900 out of 7,000 restaurants visited have already ditched single-use plastics, opting for eco-friendly alternatives instead. This remarkable progress is a testament to the city’s commitment to reducing its plastic footprint.

The ban, which came into effect on April 22, prohibits restaurants from providing single-use plastic tableware, including straws, cutlery, and styrofoam containers. During the six-month adaptation period, authorities are focusing on education and awareness, rather than enforcement, to help businesses adjust to the new regulations.

The Bureau’s findings are a resounding endorsement of the city’s plastic-free push. Major restaurant chains have led the way, with all of them ceasing to offer single-use plastics to takeaway customers. In fact, a significant 70-80% of customers are choosing to forgo disposable plastics altogether, opting for reusable alternatives instead.

Smaller restaurants are also making strides, with nearly 70% providing disposable tableware free of charge, while 10% have stopped offering plastic cutlery altogether. Encouragingly, 10-70% of takeaway customers at these establishments are also rejecting disposable plastics.

The Environment and Ecology Bureau attributes the success to restaurants’ proactive approach, with many using up their remaining plastic stock to minimize waste. Others are actively seeking out suitable alternative suppliers.

The Bureau’s outreach efforts have also yielded impressive results, with over 90% of the 5,000 retail outlets, hotels, and guesthouses visited meeting the new legislation’s requirements.

To further support the transition, the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency will invite suppliers to submit certifications and documents attesting to the quality and safety of non-plastic tableware. An online Green Tableware Platform, set to launch in July, will showcase these products, complete with certifications, as a valuable resource for businesses.

As the adaptation period continues, the Environmental Protection Department will focus on public awareness and education, visiting businesses to provide guidance and support. The Bureau remains committed to promoting the plastic-free campaign, encouraging the use of reusable tableware and reducing the reliance on disposable plastics.

Hong Kong’s swift progress in embracing a plastic-free future serves as a beacon of hope for a cleaner, greener tomorrow.