Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Take your rubbish with you when you go

Now here's an idea.  It occurs to me the the 46 million annual mainland visitors to Hong Kong must be responsible for generating a substantial proportion of the SAR's 6.4 million tons of waste swamping our overburdened landfills each year.  So why not introduce a new policy: anyone who wants to visit Hong Kong has to take a 20 kg bag of rubbish back across the border with them when they leave.  This would remove nearly a million tons from the local waste stream, significantly extending the life of our landfills.

For most people, the impact of this flood of visitors is largely negative - overcrowding; luxury goods stores forcing out affordable local shops and restaurants and pushing up rents, causing a general rise in prices - so this way we could ensure that every visitor makes at least one positive contribution to our welfare.  And if it discouraged them from coming, well, only big landlords and luxury goods retailers would be greatly saddened.


Spike said...

You do realize this would be a 20 kg bag with some crumpled-up newspapers on top and then underneath would be cans of baby milk powder or whatever other item is deemed "hot" for cross border trading at the moment.

Private Beach said...

I guess we could hand them the bag at the customs inspection point, at the same time as we confiscate their 25 excess cans of baby milk.

Well OK, I know it wouldn't really work, but my purpose was to point out the contribution of tourism (which our crazy government wants to expand) to our waste problem. I wouldn't blame people living near landfills for asking why they are suffering the consequences of this yet enjoying none of the benefits.