January/February Newsletter 2017
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A New Year and a new campaign - unpackaging our food!

A trip to your local supermarket will almost guarantee you leaving with plastic packaging. Plastic packaging accounts for about half of the plastic produced globally which in 2014 was 311 million tonnes and rising each year. Much of the fresh produce sold in Hong Kong is imported, with packaging varying from the country of origin. On the extreme end, Japanese fruit and vegetables for example are highly prized and with a price tag to match, can come protected in up to three layers of plastic!

Supermarkets do have control with some of their in-store packaging: they can put pressure on their suppliers and they could use different display methods to reduce some of the plastic usage. Only some of the plastic used for packaging is likely to end up recycled as it is frequently low value plastic not sought after by recyclers in HK, often because the recyclers cannot receive the plastic in sufficient quantities to make it cost effective

Too many natural resources are wasted through plastic packaging use, too much plastic ends up in landfills, too much plastic packaging litters the streets, parks, beaches and waterways and too much is being eaten in the sea by fish. The prolific spread of ubiquitous plastic packaging is a challenge for retailers and consumers. With landfills almost full and plastic recycling systems accepting only limited types of plastic, supermarket managers need to take into consideration the role they also play in Hong Kong's waste reduction and waste management.

So what can we do about this? As customers we can speak to store managers about our wish for less packaging. Call customer service hotlines to praise good practices noticed and request that all stores reduce plastic packaging on fresh fruit and vegetables. Sign the supermarket packaging petition below and get active on social and traditional media voicing your concerns. Write letters to newspapers and to companies urging them to consider the environmental impacts of their business and reduce their prolific use of unnecessary plastic packaging.
On Land, On the Beach and Out at Sea
Ceramic Rooster found washed up at a beach cleanup September 2015, Nim Shue Wan 
2017 has started with a jam packed month of events, talks, cleanups and more. Already over 400 students have listened to PFS talks or participated in workshops in January alone. There was an impressive turnout on the first monthly community beach cleanup with 55 people, many of them students fulfilling their CAS requirements, helping remove 45 bags of rubbish from the undergrowth and rocky coastline. This year's focus at the beach cleanups is on counting plastic drink bottles and polystyrene, two of the most prolific plastic offenders on the beaches, with a goal to push for implementation of a plastic bottle refund levy and producer responsibility.

PFS was pleased to host a public screening of the long awaited A Plastic Ocean film at the HK Maritime Museum for over 150 people. (See upcoming events for further screening dates). This year will see more attention focused on the worldwide issue of plastic marine pollution. SKY News UK was in Hong Kong interviewing waste activists as well as featuring arguably the worst beach in HK, Lap Sap Wan, in their global campaign Ocean Rescue.

As Chinese New Year is upon us once more, it is a time for planning for the new year ahead. What can you do to reduce your plastic footprint or make a positive change this year? 
Little Wins and Success Stories
Little Wins Campaign:  What can one person do to make a difference? Our response is always - a lot! Through social media, direct action (conversations, letter writing), grassroots mobilisation and setting an example for others to follow, we hear many stories of Little Wins in the fight to reduce plastic usage and wastage. Share your story here.
This month's featured Little Win was a microbead-free scrub project done by Computershare to raise awareness, inspire change, reduce food and plastic waste and raise money for the PFS microbead campaign. 
What Can You Do Today?
Connect with Plastic Free Seas:
Click on the buttons below to request a school talk, make a booking on the Sea Classroom or to discuss the corporate programs we offer. Who can you connect us with today?
School Talk
Sea Classroom
Corporate Program
Take Action:
Pledge to 
Knock Plastic Out Of The Ocean 
Sign the petition to
Ban Plastic Microbeads in Personal Care Products in Hong Kong
Stop Wrapping Our Produce in Plastic
Be Inspired:  
2017 Ocean Awareness Student Contest - Ocean Pollution: Challenges & Solutions 

Upcoming Events:  

Read the News:

Plastic Free Seas Merchandise
Sales from Plastic Free Seas merchandise financially supports the education programs in schools.  Some stocks are limited.  With water bottles, cutlery sets, Plastic Ocean books, PFS' iconic Smiley tees, there is something for everyone to use or receive as a gift.
Shop Now
Thank You for Supporting Plastic Free Seas
Plastic Free Seas is grateful for the generosity and support from individuals, companies, schools and foundations to fund our education programs.  If you want to contribute, your donation large or small will help continue to run the PFS land, beach and sea activities.
Copyright © 2017 Plastic Free Seas, All rights reserved.


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Plastic Free Seas · 21/f Chun Wo Commercial Centre · 23-29 Wing Wo St · Sheung Wan · Hong Kong

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