Eco-design: A creative way of addressing Hong Kong’s Trash Problem

Hong Kong is going to drown in its own rubbish if it doesn’t learn how to keep its waste to the minimum. We who live here are all guilty – tell me, honestly, how many of us recycle? How many bottles of drinks to we go through everyday?

It’s something we never want to admit. Back home my family used to segregate biodegradable, paper, bottles, etc. But here in Hong Kong, there’s no such culture and it’s difficult to do it when nobody else is doing it anyway…

Hong Kong dumps 13,400 tonnes of waste into its landfills every day. Photo: Edward Wong (SCMP)

Hong Kong dumps 13,400 tonnes or garbage into its landfills everyday: enough to fill four Olympic-size swimming pools.

While Hong Kong puts 52 per cent of its waste into landfills, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan all put in less than 3 per cent.

Just when I thought Ah well this city is a hopeless case anyway I can’t do anything about it… I was proven wrong. This city isn’t a hopeless case as long as there are people in it who are still fighting to do the right thing by the environment, so that we can all have a beautiful place to live in.

Last week (December 3 to be precise) I was invited to a dinner presentation at the W Hotel showcasing its pioneer eco-design project “TRASH RE-DESIGN TDC X W Taipei”.

This boombottle was one of the “upcycling” products presented that evening – a speaker system made from a waste plastic container

That night showed me and everyone else there that people in Hong Kong/Asia still care about their environment and are dedicating their life’s work to making a positive impact. Damn me for being so jaded! Not every Hong Konger/Chinese person is scrambling to make as much money as possible at any expense! Although that’s what it feels like a lot of the time…

Another upcycling concept presented by Kevin Cheung

Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value. (Wiki)

Our menu that evening: Swedish-themed dishes

Taiwanese designer Wanting Liao from the TRASH RE-DESIGN campaign by W Taipei X Taiwan Design Centre

“Some of the designs I get make me sad… why??” Frenchman Arnault Castel (Founder of successful retail shop – Kapok) shares his entertainingly honest experiences on sourcing eco-design products

from dim sum steamers to speakers! How inspiring Kevin Cheung

look familiar?! If you love dim sum, you’ll know…

…to this!

‘lumi-rim’ halo lighting: discarded bicycle rims refurbished with an translucent inner tube with LED lights underneath

from this

to this!

A big thank you to W Hotels Worldwide for the invitation, and for supporting such meaningful and responsible projects. I hope I’ve given you a positive buzz for the day as I got from the event!


5 thoughts on “Eco-design: A creative way of addressing Hong Kong’s Trash Problem

  1. CrazyChineseFamily says:

    It is always interesting to see how old products / trash can be transformed into something new and useful.
    The thing is that in every country that there are people who don’t care about the environment. Then there are those who care but don’t do anything about it and finally there are those few who care and really commit themselves for the cause.
    Especially in mainland China it is a huge problem how people just throw their trash everywhere, burn through plastic bags from their shopping adventures or just let the car run out of convenience due to the AC in summer…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeni R says:

      Exactly! Unfortunately I fall into the second category in which I care but I’m too lazy… I’m trying to reform though and have started segregating water bottles in my apartment 😮

      Honestly it seems like Chinese people are just not raised to clean up after themselves. You can see signs of it everywhere. It’s even worse in the mainland the smell is horrible and everything is filthy… but still people don’t care?! It’s so sad!


      • CrazyChineseFamily says:

        I am sadly more or less also a member of category two… I separate the trash, switch off all electric devices I don’t use and try to get everywhere by walking or bicycle. However I don’t do anything more than that as I am naturally a lazy person and anything more would mean putting effort into it while i am often already too lazy to bring the trash down, how hopeless 🙂

        Mainland China really has a long way ahead to get the environment cleaned up and change the attitude of its people regarding this matter

        Liked by 1 person

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