Achieve a disposable plastic free campus by September 2020.
On 22 March 2017, the Sustainability Office launched Ditch Disposable, a campus-wide campaign to reduce plastic waste by targeting disposable plastic items. To kick off the campaign, 27 faculties, departments, caterers and student groups joined the campaign as Early Champions and pledged to stop distributing or selling single-use plastic water bottles of one litre or less.
Through awareness raising, facility improvements, and providing resources, the campaign works to eliminate the need for disposable items at HKU. Ditch Disposable started with a focus on single use plastic water bottles and has since continued to cover a variety of disposable items.
Policy on disposable plastic bottles
To formalize the work of Ditch Disposable, the University enacted the Policy on disposable plastic bottles on July 1, 2017. The policy states that:
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. Full policy
UNIfy: Skip the Straw
Building on our work with disposable plastic water bottles, HKU teamed up with the seven other universities in HKSCC to launch a joint environmental campaign to reduce single-use plastic straws called “UNIfy: Skip the Straw”. On 12-16 March 2018, all universities hosted a No Straw Week on their campuses during which catering outlets only gave out straws upon request. In just this one week, the campaign saved an estimated 76,653 disposable straws from landfills.
All eight universities also committed to a long-term plan to reduce disposable plastic straws. As HKU’s commitment, the university will ban single-use plastic straws at catering outlets from September 3, 2018. Full policy
Disposable plastic free campus
The University of Hong Kong seeks to be a leader in reducing disposable plastics. To do this, the University is working to become a disposable plastic free campus by September 2020. Over the next two years, the University will work to reduce disposable plastic food service ware, bottles, and banners.