HKTDC Food Expo Adopts Pioneering BottLess ZERO Utensil Sharing Scheme
Hong Kong，20 Aug 2019
HKTDC Food Expo Adopts Pioneering BottLess ZERO Utensil Sharing Scheme
Eco-friendly Measure Extends Reach To Over 20 Upcoming Trade Exhibitions
The five-day HKTDC Food Expo successfully ended with positive reviews of the BottLess ZERO utensil sharing scheme. Jointly launched by the social enterprise BottLess, health insurance specialist Bupa and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the on-site utensil lending service provided around 5,000 reusable food containers, 5,000 stainless steel forks and 2,000 reusable cups per day to reduce the use of disposable utensils at the Food Expo from 15 to 19 August 2019. The cross-sector partnership will further extend its positive impact through offering reusable cups at over 20 trade exhibitions organized by the HKTDC in the upcoming year.
The sharing scheme demonstrates how plastic-free solutions can be implemented at similar large-scale events. Visitors simply paid a HK$20 cash deposit per item to borrow the utensils at designated stations at the expo. They may then return the used utensils to reclaim their deposit at various collection stations, where the utensils are sent for cleaning, sterilization and reuse. In addition, two public washing areas were added for visitors to clean their utensils if needed.
A survey conducted by the HKTDC interviewed around 770 visitors to find increased support for the utensil sharing scheme compared to last year. Over 22,000 pieces of reusable utensils were borrowed during the five days, while 75% of visitors reported awareness of the scheme.
This year, 25 exhibitors provided special perks to visitors who purchased food with reusable utensils. “There has been an increase in visitors using reusable utensils, which reduced the amount of waste we produced,” an exhibitor who participated in the sharing scheme expressed. “The sharing scheme was convenient and easy to use, we will definitely support it in future occasions,” a user commented on the service. Another visitor said, “this is my second year bringing reusable utensils to attend the event. The food vendors were very supportive when we asked them to serve food with our reusable food container.”
The utensil sharing scheme is a successful example for future large-scale events to implement similar green initiatives. It enabled the public to enjoy the food and exhibitors to promote their businesses while reducing the event’s plastic waste, hence creating a win-win situation for the environment, economy and society. BottLess and Bupa will continue to offer plastic-free experiences to the public after the Food Expo, providing the same batch of reusable utensils for sharing during trade exhibitions organized by the HKTDC in the upcoming year. These exhibitions include CENTRESTAGE and Hong Kong International Jewelry Show.
Mr. Francis Ngai, founder of BottLess, said: “We are very pleased to receive such positive feedback from the visitors. In the future, we look forward to expanding the reusable utensil sharing scheme to support all kinds of large-scale events in Hong Kong, and to welcome more like-minded partners to join our efforts. The sharing scheme is just a beginning. Our ultimate vision is to encourage the public to use reusable utensils in everyday life and build an eco-friendly habit."
The reusable utensil sharing scheme is part of a series of Live Green Live Healthy initiatives launched by BottLess and Bupa to increase awareness of waste reduction in Hong Kong. In phase 1 and 2, BottLess and Bupa organized a series of employee engagement events around single-use plastics. Bupa and BottLess also partnered with 10 restaurants in the Taikoo and Quarry Bay area to provide special offers to Bupa employees who purchase takeaway with reusable utensils in replacement of disposables. In phase 3, Bupa and BottLess further expanded the reach of the initiative by sponsoring reusable and environmental friendly utensils at the Food Expo to benefit the wider community and create a larger impact.
Bupa is now half-way through its employee engagement programme since early July and has already seen positive behaviour changes. A total of around 100 Bupa employees participated in the clean-up hike and “Leave No Trace” workshops, in which they learnt that protecting the environment is not only about keeping nature clean while enjoying the scenery, such as bringing one’s own utensils and water bottles. It also includes making sure that one is fully equipped for self-protection, so as to reduce the impact on the environment. In addition, Bupa employees responded positively to the initiative by borrowing a total of 200 reusable food containers provided through the partnership for takeaway at different restaurants in the area. More employees are recorded to bring their own food containers, which shows a sign of gradual change in the habit of using single-use plastic containers.
“Caring for the community and environment where we operate lies in the heart of Bupa’s values,” said Andrew Merrilees, General Manager of Bupa Hong Kong. “Through our partnership with BottLess, we do our best to encourage our colleagues, the community and the public to participate and promote positive changes. We are delighted to see that our small actions have already made some impact on fostering people to live green, live healthy and contributing to a sustainable environment.”
Notes to editor
About “Live Healthy Live Green” partnership
Bupa staff and local restaurants in Taikoo and Quarry Bay
Plastic-free green living – takeaway initiative:
Partnering with 10 restaurants in Taikoo and Quarry Bay area to offer discount for Bupa staff who bring reusable containers for takeaway
HKTDC Food Expo reusable utensil lending:
Offering reusable food containers and cutleries for public visitors to borrow for use at the Expo with a refundable cash deposit
QR code on the containers lands on the Bupa “Live healthy. Live green.” minisite
Bupa staff engagement video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rDXufCDt3o
About Bupa “Live healthy. Live green.” minisite
The minisite features healthy eating tips, green living advice and more.
Scan the QR code:
Or visit the website at:
BottLess is a social start-up initiated by SVhk in 2015. With innovative and pioneering strategies, BottLess opens the path for corporates to embrace sustainability, which fosters micro-behavioral change in the public and creating zero-waste possibilities for the next generation.
BottLess has a wealth of experience in providing plastics-free strategies, namely water solutions for mega-events such as Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships, the sharing cup scheme for Hong Kong Sevens, and reusable cup solutions for the Hong Kong Streetathon. Others include providing green packaging solutions to restaurants and food retails.
LEAD - Offer bespoke operation and marketing advice and curation to create citywide sustainability campaigns
LIFE - One-stop station offering a diversified range of high-quality, sustainable products to corporates, restaurants and the public – including 100% biodegradable utensils and packaging
LOOP - Ultimate Rent & Reuse system for catering necessities aiming to change the consumer’s habit of using disposable plastic products
FLOW - Water refilling technology for corporates to engage consumers in reducing plastic bottle consumption, and embracing the habit of water refilling
ZERO - Curate holistic zero-waste events that motivate public participation with pioneering plastic-free experiences, from water refill machine, reusable cup and food container services to professional back-end dish-washing support
HERO - Build an alliance of cross-sector partners who advocate for plastic-free solutions to mobilize a city-wide sustainability movement
Bupa – A global healthcare specialist
* Source: LaingBuisson Health Cover UK Market Report 15th Edition, published 16 October 2018, in terms of market share by premium income among private medical insurance providers