You can download the report here.
The Hong Kong Cleanup has just wrapped up their largest event yet – with record-breaking numbers not only for the amount of trash collected, but also with the highest participant turn out to date.
Contributing to the success this year were over 30 local and international media partners, sponsors and other supporting organizations.
Relationships with the government and other NGOs increased in strength, and celebrity support also helped to drive greater awareness and action.
The 16th Annual Hong Kong Cleanup Challenge ran from September 1st to December 1st during which 80,210 participants collected 48,070,857 pieces of trash weighing in at 5,567,680 kilograms from country trails, city streets and coastal areas around Hong Kong. "Tiny Trash" such as microplastics remains a significant proportion of this number, in addition to disposable plastics such as utensils, straws, and shopping bags – a concerning realization knowing that many sea animals, birds and fish confuse them for food.
Participants ranged from schools, government departments, families, community groups, thought leaders, celebrities and companies including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bloomberg, BNP Paribas, Calvin Klein, Hitachi, Nomura, Pure International, and The Economist. Winners from The Challenge were honored at an awards ceremony at Tasmania Ballroom in December in categories such as best team spirit, most trash collected, greenest team, weirdest find, and largest team. An award of excellence was presented to Barclays, who performed four cleanups throughout the Challenge season, collecting hundreds of kilograms of rubbish.
The suggestions from the results are clear – we need stronger government action, better education and recycling infrastructure, and improved legislation to tackle our trash crisis and put Hong Kong on a path to a cleaner future. Recommendations include looking to other cities and countries that have successfully implemented bans and restrictions on harmful products such as polystyrene, plastic microbeads, disposable water bottles and plastic bags.
A full report of participant teams and their results can now be found here.
The waste crisis could not be more pressing for Hong Kong – with remaining landfills expected to be full by 2019 and controversy over proposed waste incinerator. Hong Kong Cleanup provides a step to addressing waste issues through citizen education and participation that is pivotal to empowering residents to change habits and seek change.
Lisa Christensen, the event's Founder, reckons enough is enough: "The amount of plastic in our natural ecosystems has to be seen to be believed. It is a horrendous and disturbing sight. Is this really what we want Hong Kong to be known for? The Hong Kong Cleanup Challenge remains an integral way to help the government clean up our city and take back our beaches, however we must continue to strengthen our approach with upstream solutions, so the trash doesn't end up in our beautiful oceans in the first place".