Have you gone hiking this autumn? Have you spotted any rubbish on the road?
The HKSAR government plans to remove all rubbish bins in country parks by the end of this year, which has sparked heated debate among the public.
By gradually removing trash bins from country parks, the government has been promoting the “Take your litter home” campaign since September 2015 to reduce the amount of waste disposed in the wild. During the first stages of the campaign, the government gradually removed rubbish bins from the Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve, Ma On Shan Country Trail, Tai Lam Chung Country Trail, Dragon’s Back at Hong Kong Island, and Lantau Trail Section 3 at Lantau Island.
“People would throw away rubbish illegally. For example, they would throw it in the bush”, said Ms. Cheung, a secondary student.
In October, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department suggested a blanket removal of rubbish bins from all country parks by the end of this year.
Outdoor events in country parks such as barbecuing produce waste such as used forks, coal, food waste, and plastic bags. The food waste might attract wild animals and affect their eating habits, destroying the ecosystem as a result. The rubbish can pollute the land or water, even the source of drinking water if the waste flows into hills or rivers.
“I support the removal of rubbish bins since they are not emptied every day, which might attract wild animals,” said Mr. Lee, a 65-year-old hiker. “However, the policy would be effective only under the situation that people take their trash back home.”
Some people doubted the government’s proposed policy.
“The absence of trash cans in country parks would cause inconvenience for all visitors and indirectly encourage them to illegally throw away rubbish in the wild, since outdoor barbecuing is prevalent in such parks” said Ms. Chan, a tourist. She added that It was impractical to hope that all visitors would conscientiously take away all the trash they created.
Ms. Yeung, a local university student said, “Such policies cannot be considered effective since they don’t reduce the total amount of rubbish disposed.” She commented that the government should come up with practical solutions to fundamentally root out the garbage problem. Without concrete policies tackling the root of the problem, the government cannot win the war against trash.
Online Team: Phoebe