Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Must Cut Excess

Some mooncake boxes have elaborate packaging like this one
This year I was really lucky to receive nine boxes of mooncakes. I gave away all of them save one to very appreciative people from relatives to the security staff who look after my apartment building. With so many boxes I couldn't imagine throwing the mooncakes away, but apparently many Hong Kongers have no qualms doing so.
According to a survey by environmental group Green Power, Hong Kong people threw out enough mooncakes to cover 25 basketball courts last year, or more than 2.12 million mooncakes, up 12 percent from 2009.

That's a staggering amount and a lot of money down the drain.
The other issue with mooncakes is how much packaging they use. The survey of 287 households found 70 percent of families preferred "exquisite package" of mooncakes, only 10 percent liked simple packaging.
In this age of environmental consciousness and where Hong Kong has (for the most part) banned plastic shopping bags that people would realize throwing food out and excessive packaging is wasteful.
But apparently not.
I was also dismayed to find many of the mooncake boxes were huge and inside only held half a dozen small mooncakes. The packaging inside, using cheap gold-coloured fabric to make it look expensive was actually quite tacky.
China has tried to implement regulations cutting down on the amount of packaging used and perhaps the Hong Kong government should do the same. But the Tsang government would see it as encroaching on capitalism so really it's up to us to vote with our feet.

And if people aren't going to eat all those mooncakes, that's fine; we all want to keep our waistlines relatively trim. But please don't throw these traditional cakes out -- donate them to those less fortunate so that they can celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival. However ways people can donate mooncakes are not publicized enough.

At work there was a notice that St James Settlement was accepting mooncakes but drop off points weren't convenient for a lot of people. There really has to be more of a community effort to help spread the wealth which is where the government can facilitate this.

But does it want to? It does not want to admit there are working poor in Hong Kong. And that's a shame. All countries have a section of the population that is underprivileged but ignoring them won't make them go away.

1 comment:

  1. the good lord would not allow this type of wastage. hope people will wake up and change this practice.