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World Oceans Day

Plastic free living starts from forgoing straws everyday

Ocean Park Conversation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK) announced the return of No Straw Campaign for a third consecutive year. Research commissioned by the Foundation shows encouraging progress in reducing Hong Kong’s overall plastic straw consumption, which has dropped from 1.7 billion in 2017 to 1.08 billion in 2019[1] thanks to concerted efforts in inviting the public to say no to plastic straws. However, the survey indicates that Hong Kongers are still using 4.31 straws per week on average, which is still posing detrimental impacts on the environment. In addition, the number of partnering organisations has more than doubled this year, with over 1,700 restaurants, educational institutions, corporations and government departments joining us to further public awareness on the threats that plastic products have on our oceans and the environment.
 
The latest campaign video was also launched on June 6! You can see and hear celebrity Sammy Leung transforms into a pint-sized “No Straw Guardian” to illustrate the huge negative environmental impact a single plastic straw could bring to the ecosystem. Celebrity Aimee Chan is also on board with the cause. “As a mother of three, I am concerned that plastic waste that goes into the ecosystems may end up as microplastics and contaminate the food chain, consequently posing an adverse effect on our health. To protect the environment from plastic pollution, I feel obliged to adopt a ‘less plastic’ lifestyle and minimise the use of single use plastic products in the family,” said Chan.
 
In addition, OPCFHK is launching a free-to-download WhatsApp Sticker Pack to get Hong Kongers talking about this important topic in their day-to-day conversations with family and friends. Join us as well by saying “No straw, thanks!” together!


[1]The survey interviewed 1,000 respondents aged 15-59 in May 2019. Results show that the average consumption per week per person is 4.31 straws. When multiplied by the total population within that same age group in Hong Kong (4,846,876) and the number of weeks in a year (52), that is equivalent to 1.08 billion plastic straws used in Hong Kong a year. The average consumption per week per person in the 2017 survey was 6.75 straws and the projected annual consumption in Hong Kong was 1.7 billion.

 

    World Oceans Day 2018

    Plastic free living starts from forgoing straws everyday

    In response to World Oceans Day on 8 June, Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK) launched the very first “No Straw Day” in 2017 to increase the public awareness on the effect of marine plastic debris. On 2018’s World Oceans Day, OPCFHK celebrated the “No Straw Day” again and has set up game booths in Ocean Park to convey plastic-free living and to encourage individuals to pledge to forgo plastic straws. In order to further promote the public awareness about the issue, OPCFHK also launched the "No Straw Campaign" - a wider and on-going movement to further encourage a reduction in the use of disposable straws and other plastics in Hong Kong, taking a significant step towards helping to safeguard our marine eco-system. According to the survey conducted by OPCFHK in May, the annual consumption of plastic straws in Hong Kong is projected to reduce by 2.6 million in 2018 when compared to the figure for 2017, reflecting a positive trend towards plastic straw free living in the city. However, this still means that Hong Kong residents use an eye-watering, 1.44 billion plastic straws a year.

    This year, OPCFHK has teamed-up with more than 850 local restaurants, educational institutions, as well as restaurants outlets from around 20 major chains to draw the public to action through the launch of the “No Straw the Eighth”, “No Straw Friday” and “No Straw Partner” schemes. These schemes mean that restaurants and schools will not provide straws to their customers or students unless upon request on either the eighth day of every month, every Friday, or in the case of partners, every day of the year – essentially never.

    On 5 June, celebrities Ms. Sharon Chan and Mr. Sammy Leung attended the No Straw Campaign Kick-off event to call for public to forgo plastic straws. Sammy shared, “Being a true supporter of a plastic-free lifestyle myself, I have always educated my children about the importance of protecting the environment and my aim is to make sure that not using plastic straws becomes a daily habit for them.” To educate the public about no straw living, OPCFHK also rolled out a video featuring actress Ms. Sharon Chan, she said, “Educating our next generation is the key to a sustainable future. As a parent, I have to set a good example to my child by encouraging him to protect the natural environment, and getting the public to reduce their use of straws is a small by significant start to help put this principle into practice.

     
     
     
     

    World Oceans Day 2017

    Be the Change, Say No to Straw Now

    Plastic straws are one of the top ten contributors to marine debris. This May, Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK) conducted a survey to understand the behaviour of plastic straws consumption in Hong Kong. The survey result showed that the 1,000 respondents, aged 15-59, on average use 6.75 plastic straws a week. If the same applies to the rest of the Hong Kong population within the same age group, that is equivalent to the use of 1.7 billion plastic straws per year.

    On 7 June, our Marine Conservation Ambassador Ms. Gigi Leung set sail to Aberdeen typhoon shelter to experience how marine debris is affecting our oceans.

    “As a mother, I feel even more related to marine conservation than ever as I wish my child can always have a healthy ocean. Therefore, I started talking to my child about the importance of protecting marine wildlife at an early age” Gigi said. “It took me a lot of time to pick up the trash floating on the sea. I learnt from the fishermen that the situation might be worse on other days. By taking a small step such as not using disposable straws or replacing with reusable straws, it will make a huge difference to the environment. It is time for us to take responsibility for our actions and say “No” to plastic straws or any other disposable plastics to save our environment.”

    As straws often end up in the oceans and can damage fragile ecosystems if not disposed of properly, OPCFHK designates 8 June World Oceans Day as “No Straw Day” to encourage individuals to reduce their plastic straw usage. On that day, over 600 restaurants under 53 entities from corporations and schools did not offer straws unless upon request. Also, OPCFHK has set up game booths in Ocean Park to convey no-straw message, and successfully encouraged 584 visitors to pledge to stop using disposable straws for a month.