Author: Isaac Yuen Cheuk Hang
As the living standard continues to rise, people are creating all sorts of plastic waste every single day. Due to the fact that modern people do not have environmental awareness, there are not effective recycling policies in Hong Kong, and the current law has low deterrent effect on factories. The amount of plastic has risen sharply. A recent study has found that Hong Kong’s three huge outdoor landfill sites are piled high with much plastic waste and are set to reach full capacity by 2020. Although this problem threatens our society, there are still ways to turn the tide.
One solution is to promote the importance of environmental protection to the public. In order to arouse the public concern and increase their awareness of protecting the environment, the government should promote the ideology of 4Rs: Reusing, Recycling, Replacing and Reducing. Also, the government can organize some lectures for the public. Through these lectures, the public can have a stronger environmental consciousness. For the school aspect, I suggest primary and secondary school teachers teach the students how to protect the environment and maintain an environmentally friendly society. For instance, we should encourage students to use their own bag when they go shopping. The schools play an important role in solving the plastic waste problem, because their main job is teaching. If the schools did not teach the students about the importance of environmental protection, they would produce more plastic waste and the landfills would be saturated very soon.
Another feasible solution is to implement effective recycling policies in Hong Kong. The government can increase the number of recycling bins. This can make more people participate in environmental protection. Also, the government should charge polluters; this meets the polluter-pay principle and will decrease plastic wastes. Furthermore, the government can carry out a programme on Source Separation of Plastic Waste. This is an effective way to reduce plastic wastes.
Lastly, the government should strengthen manpower monitoring. As many types of plastics are very cheap, many manufacturers use and waste plastics. In order to solve the plastic waste problem, the government should put a levy on factories. This can increase the deterrent effect on factories, so they will use less plastic and avoid producing plastic waste.
In conclusion, Hong Kong has long been beset with a plastic waste problem. To solve the problem, schools and the government have an important role to play. Everyone has the responsibility to protect our environment. In order to maintain a good and comfortable environment for our next generation, we need to put much effort in it.