/ Sunday, July 11, 2010

(From left) Head of Operations - F & B of agnes b. CAFE L.P.G., Mr Christophe Vrignaud; Senior District Manager of Caffe HABITU, Mr Chris Ng; Head of Brand Extension - McCafe, Kiosk & 24/7 of McDonald's Hong Kong, Mr Patrick Kwok; Assistant Director of Environmental Protection, Mr Vincent Tang; Business Development Manager of Pacific Coffee Company, Mr Thomas Mak; Barista Trainer of Pret A Manger, Ms Suki Wong, and Marketing Manager of Starbucks Coffee Hong Kong, Ms Teresa Shum.

Six café groups, comprising agnès b. CAFÉ L.P.G., Caffé HABITU, McCafé, Pacific Coffee Company, Pret A Manger and Starbucks Coffee Hong Kong, have formed the Green Café Alliance, which seeks to encourage members of the public to use less disposable cutlery and to share green tips with them.

The Green Café Alliance is a key programme under the “Minimising Waste, Maximising the Future” campaign organised by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD). At the ceremony to launch the Alliance held today (July 11), the EPD and representatives from the participating café groups announced the details of the programme and the formation of the Alliance. The Alliance aspires to encourage the public to create a better living environment by using less disposable cutlery and reducing waste.

“As more and more members of the public frequent cafés, the EPD invited six café chains to form the Alliance, and to spread the waste reduction message through their 300 branches. We are delighted that the six café groups agreed to join us to promote the environmental protection message. Their support could help motivate members of the public to live green and reduce waste in their daily lives,” the EPD spokesman said.

“With the launch of the Alliance, the public will start seeing the publicity materials of the ‘Minimising Waste, Maximising the Future’ campaign in cafés of the Alliance. When the café staff receive takeaway orders, they will remind customers to think twice before taking disposable cutlery. Some cafés will also encourage customers to bring their own coffee tumblers or reuse the cup sleeves. We hope that when customers enjoy their beverages and delicious snacks, they will also play a part in reducing waste,” he added.

At today’s ceremony, the Assistant Director of Environmental Protection, Mr Vincent Tang, thanked Alliance members for their participation and suggested that customers visiting cafés should put “Minimising Waste, Maximising the Future” into practice. If each customer uses less disposable cutlery each day, it could add up to a significant reduction in waste. The EPD hopes that the programme will raise public awareness and people will gradually change their behaviour, make good use of resources and reducing waste.

According to the EPD’s statistics, Hong Kong generates about 18,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste a day. Half of it is recycled, but about 9,000 tonnes of waste are sent to landfills every day. The existing landfills in Hong Kong will be full, one by one, within 10 years. The Government hopes that the public understands the imminent problem and will reduce waste in all aspects of their lives, including when they eat and drink. The EPD launched the “Minimising Waste, Maximising the Future” waste reduction campaign on May 23 to appeal to the public to reduce waste in their daily lives.