Plastic Reduction and Sustainability
Since the implementation of the plastic bag fee measure in Hong Kong in 2009, markets have been an important venue for the consumption of plastic bags, as they are a public space that embodies local traditional culture, satisfies people’s daily dietary needs, and promotes community interaction. In view of the fact that various surveys and studies have not focused much on the actual use of plastic bags in different markets in Hong Kong, nor have they conducted in-depth discussions on the use of plastic bags by consumers and market traders in markets, Centre for Social Innovation Studies(CSIS) and Centre for Cultural Studies have launched the “Plastic Free Hong Kong — Chapters on Wet Markets” from May to October 2021, with reference to the sustainable development goals proposed by the United Nations. The project aims to serve as a pilot project to explore relevant issues, with the aim of promoting a sustainable market culture and contributing to environmental protection.
The Hong Kong Market Research Project was funded by the Sustainable Development Fund of the Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development Department. (For details, please refer to https://padlet.com/culturaltstudiescuhk/goplasticfree). The two-day survey found that the total number of plastic bags used by market stalls on a single day was as many as 15,000, with the largest number of plastic bags used by fish stalls and vegetable stalls. If we extrapolate from this, the total number of plastic bags used in the five markets in Shatin would reach 75,000 per day. The market vendors also reflected the habits and patterns of plastic bag use to the surveyors during the survey. All these signs indicate that the research direction will help the public and stakeholders to understand the importance of related environmental issues and help the organizers to adjust their current measures and plan for future development.