Disney goes green for fun run event

Local | Sophie Hui 5 Nov 2018

Hong Kong Disneyland introduced recyclable plastic cups to make its weekend running event, which attracted 13,000 people, more environmentally friendly.

The move to use recyclable plastic cups at the "10K Weekend 2018" was made in collaboration with The Green Earth, after the environmental group issued guidelines to reduce plastic waste for mega sporting events.

Apart from introducing recyclable cups, the organizer also provided more reusable cups to reduce the use of paper cups.

Linda Choy Siu-min, Hong Kong Disneyland's vice-president of communications and public affairs, said 85 percent of cups used at the event were recyclable or reusable, but some of the races still used paper cups due to the track and safety issues.

However, she said Disneyland urged runners to bring their own bottles as there were water dispensers at the event.

Runners were also able to throw their plastic bottles into recycle machines, and dispose of other recyclable waste like paper, cans, bags and banana peel at collection points.

Choy said the amount of recyclable waste collected has dropped this year as the park focused more on reducing waste at its source.

The volunteer team for the green work was expanded by 70 percent to more than 180 people this year.

Runners also supported the arrangement, saying there were clear signs for plastic cups collection points and places to refill water.

Vivien Cheng Yu-wai, director of Green Earth's community partnership, said it's the third year the group has partnered with the theme park.

"In general, I think the situation has improved significantly, especially as participants have grown aware of recycling," she said.

Cheng said volunteers had to remind runners on proper recycling procedures, and also had to remove plastic bottles from rubbish bins. Despite this, people gave their empty plastic bottles to volunteers for them to be recycled this year.

Cheng said the group has contacted the recycling center to ensure the collected cups and bottles will be recycled, while drinks that weren't opened will be donated to those in need.

The group issued a "Green Event Waste Reduction Practice Handbook" in August.

Cheng said it referred to the handbook, which included experiences from 50 events in the past 2 1/2 years.

The two-day "10K Weekend 2018" on Saturday and yesterday attracted a record number of registered runners, 25 percent more than last year.

Fourteen percent of the runners were from mainland China, Taiwan, Japan and Thailand.

Meanwhile, Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing made it clear the waste-charging scheme is not to increase tax revenue but to provide economic incentives for citizens to reduce the amount of waste.

sophie.hui@singtaonewscorp.com

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