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Policy on disposable plastic bottles

1. Introduction
The University of Hong Kong’s strategic planning document, Asia’s Global University, The Next Decade, Our Vision for 2016-25 states, “The principles of sustainability will guide our planning and development at every level.” 
Articulating this broad commitment takes many forms, including responsible waste management. This policy has been introduced to significantly reduce the sale and distribution by the University of disposable plastic bottles, a substantial source of plastic waste locally, regionally and globally. 
The policy begins with restrictions on disposable plastic bottles containing water and may subsequently be extended to restrict the sale of other beverages sold in plastic bottles. 
This policy is endorsed by the Safety Health and Environment Committee, a committee established by the Council with the responsibility of formulating policies, procedures and standards on safety, health and sustainability for adoption by the University community. Any changes or extensions to the policy will need to be endorsed by SHEC.
2. Policy
With effect from July 1, 2017:
The sale of water in disposable plastic bottles of one litre or less in volume is not permitted in catering outlets, retail locations, or vending machines owned by or located on university premises;
The distribution and use of water in disposable plastic bottles of one litre or less at events and activities arranged on university premises by faculties, departments, societies, or other university-affiliated units is not permitted. 
Exceptions to this policy may be permitted in health-related or other emergency situations and/or during events held off campus or out of town where access to safe drinking water is inadequate.  


3. Implementation and Compliance

  • University faculties, departments, administrative offices, student societies, and other units responsible for organizing or hosting events and activities on campus are responsible for ensuring compliance with the policy.
  • University management is responsible for ensuring that the necessary facilities and procedures are in place to enable implementation of the policy, with support from the Estates, Finance, and Sustainability Offices, and the Accommodation Committee. 
  • Heads of departments are responsible for ensuring University funds are not used for the purchase of products restricted by the policy.
  • The Estates Office will be responsible for the installation and maintenance on campus of a sufficient number of filtered water dispensers and related signage.  
  • The Committee on Catering will be responsible for ensuring that disposable plastic water bottles are not sold or distributed in catering outlets, vending machines, or retail outlets on campus. 
  • The Sustainability Office will support policy implementation through communications and awareness-raising efforts among relevant units and other stakeholders campus wide. 
  • The policy has the full support of the Senior Management Team. 


  1. Disposable plastic bottles: Any formed or molded containers comprised predominantly of plastic resin and intended primarily as a single-use container containing a beverage for human consumption. This definition includes a compostable plastic bottle meeting these criteria.
  2. Campus: Anywhere within the boundary of the Main, Centennial, Sassoon Road and other Campuses of the University of Hong Kong.
  3. Event: Any activity, meeting, conference, seminar, workshop, performance, speech, or gathering that takes place on the Campus.