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Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre launches ‘Think Before Plastic’ initiative

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre launches ‘Think Before Plastic’ initiative
July 19, 2018

The management of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) has advised that it is to cut out the 1,600,000 disposable plastic cutlery items and plastic straws that it uses each year.

As part of its commitment to sustainability, and striving to be at the forefront of a more sustainable event industry, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited [HML] has introduced the initiative under the slogan ‘Think Before Plastic’, with a series of new measures being rolled out since the start of the new fiscal year on 1st July.

One measure within the initiative is the replacement of plastic disposable cutlery with non-plastic alternatives at all HKCEC restaurant outlets and concession stands while plastic straws are also no longer provided, with paper straws available upon request.

As a result of these measures, HML expects to cut out the use of over 1,300,000 pieces of plastic disposable cutlery and more than 330,000 plastic straws in 12 months.

HML has also discontinued the sale of plastic bottled beverages from all vending machines for staff members and contractors working in back of house areas.

With community engagement seen as being important to the success of any sustainability initiative, HML is encouraging visitors and event attendees to bring their own bottles when attending events at the HKEC, and to make use of the 18 water fountains in the HKCEC for free refills.

Of these water fountains, 13 are located inside the exhibition halls, four are in the corridors of meeting rooms, and one is located in the back of house area for the use of staff members and contractors.

To promote the water fountains, prominent signs have been added in exhibition halls and meeting room corridors.

HML’s Managing Director, Monica Lee-Müller, the primary driver of the ‘Think Before Plastic’ initiative, commented “all of us - venue operators, event organisers, exhibitors, buyers, visitors, event attendees, dining guests - have a responsibility towards our environment.

“HML is striving to be at the forefront of a greener event industry, and one way we are doing this is by encouraging our customers, event organisers, contractors, suppliers and stakeholders, as well as other event industry players, to think before using disposable plastic items.

“Cutting out disposable plastic cutlery and plastic straws is only the beginning, though.

“We are continuing to work on sourcing non-disposable plastic alternatives for various other items, such as meal boxes and cup lids.”

HML was the first organisation in Hong Kong to achieve ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System recognition. This certification recognises that HML has fully incorporated the concept of sustainability into the entire event management cycle, including its operation procedures and guidelines.

Images: HML Managing Director, Monica Lee-Müller, and ExhiBit, the HKCEC Buddy, promote 'Think Before Plastic' at one of the HKCEC’s restaurant outlets (top); HML is now encouraging visitors and event attendees to bring their own bottles, and to make use of the 18 water fountains in the HKCEC for free refills (middle) and HML’s ‘Think Before Plastic’ logo (below).

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