Waste Less, More blessings


The over-consumption and the food waste problems in Hong Kong are overwhelming. Here over 3,000 tonnes of food waste is produced on a daily basis. Over 1 million tonnes is generated in a single year. Compared with our South Korean and Taiwanese counterparts, we, Hong Kong citizens produce 20-30% more food waste. In fact, more of it is still edible. The soaring volume is enough to feed 2.8 million children in a poor country for a week!


It is surely not news to hear that the remaining capacities of our 3 landfills will soon be exhausted. Yet, with the doubled volume of food waste in the last 5 years, what could we possibly do? Build more landfills? Or build incinerators instead? Neither one seems to be an acceptable option for some parties. Nobody wants to live near landfills and the latter idea has environmental and health risks. Every day $24 million from taxpayers goes into processing waste. No wonder the government hopes to cut food waste by 10% in 3 years.


In spite of the technical issues (waste treatment), the problem also involves cultural themes (idea of consumption) and human relationship with nature. Therefore, the solution is not restricted to government policy only, but also the roles of individuals and cultural changes. So different sectors of society can all contribute to alleviating the problems.


Chinese tends to over-order as they are obliged to order more than enough when treating others. Other reasons include portions being too big and people being too picky about food. Firms and corporations should serve appropriate amount of courses only at banquets. A traditional 12-course meal is too much for guests. Enough is good enough. Boxes should be prepared for guests so that they could take away leftover food as well.


Food producers should donate food to food banks or charities. Schools may provide different portions sizes or distribute food according to students’ consumption amount.


People should carry the value of ‘Order less, waste less, more blessings’ into their daily lives. How come ‘ordering less’ leads to ‘more blessings’? It is because the cost of cutting waste is much lower than that of treating waste $26.5 billion, and $770 is required to set waste treatment facilities and to burn every single tonne of wastes. On the contrary, only $150 is needed to reduce one tonne of waste. So make your own choice.


Don’t be those people who leave their food to rot, while turning a blind eye to the poor who struggle to feed their kids. Making donations to Hong Kong’s food recycling food recycling back which assists grass root communicates and turn food into blessings.