Heidi Spurrell | 14th June 2023 | 4min read

Once the midday lunch rush has passed, there’s only a brief period of calm before KIN Food Halls is bustling with life again. Grabbing a drink at the KIN bar, Future Green Members catch up in the food hall’s sleek interiors. As we’ll learn later on, 25% of KIN Food Halls’ building materials were upcycled, making it the ideal venue for June’s meetup on Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Members Monthly Meetup at KIN Food Halls – what a great turnout!

Globally, only 10% of annual plastic waste is recycled, and in the F&B industry key culprits include coffee cups, cling film, and cutlery. To address this problem, individuals and businesses must consider the waste management hierarchy, prioritising prevention and reduction measures before pursuing efforts to reduce, reuse, recycle, recover and dispose.

A drop in the ocean

To kick off the meetup, we invite our first guest speaker to the stage. As the co-founder of Plastic Free Seas, Dana Winograd has been at the forefront of Hong Kong’s fight against plastic waste. As a certified charity, Plastic Free Seas has hosted initiatives like beach cleanups, conferences and education to over 315 schools and 135 companies across HK. 

In 2019, waste accounted for 7% of carbon emissions in HK. The HK government has recognised the problem, introducing a waste blueprint that encompasses waste reduction, resource circulation and more. The first phase of its plan involves the sale prohibition of disposable plastic tableware, cutlery, straws and stirrers. Other initiatives include regulation of disposable plastic tableware and bans on disposable plastic product sales.

The way businesses respond to new legislation will be extremely important. As Dana notes, “the first thought shouldn’t be what material to switch to. If you switch to a compostable material and there’s nowhere to compose it, it’s going to end up in the landfill anyway”.

The Future Green Team with today’s speaker Dana Winograd and generous sponsor Paul Gardner from Fresh Accounting

In the same boat 

To hear what Members have already been doing, Dana invites everyone to share their experiences. Adrian from Ovolo Hotels shares how staff set up small recycling bins in the hotel’s communal kitchen. “Some guests weren’t sure how to recycle the items, but the staff try to speak with them and teach them,” says Adrian. Meanwhile, Frederico from Zero Impact shares how the company’s natural cleaning products are packaged in biodegradable, recyclable packing that is collected and recycled at the end of its life cycle. It’s heartening to hear about the steps that Future Green Members have already been taking to tackle this month’s theme!

Next, Blake Ireland from Life Solutions explains how the company’s high quality water filtration and dispensing systems help to reduce single-use plastic bottles. Preventing over 900 million plastic bottles from entering the landfill, Life Solutions is a green alternative that simultaneously helps businesses save money, free up storage space and uphold high water-quality standards. 

Blake Ireland form Life Solutions for this month’s Member Spotlight

Wine o’clock

Transitioning from water to rosé, we invite Audrey Onolfo from Château Galoupet to the stage. Upon discovering that packaging is responsible for 40% of carbon emissions in the wine industry, Château Galoupet embarked on a mission to create luxury packaging whilst prioritising sustainability. Its bottle, which is now available across Hong Kong, is around 270g lighter than the average bottle. With embossed estate artwork rather than printing paper and a wax finish instead of aluminium, each element of the design has a sustainability-focused backstory. Even the bottle itself is made using 70% recycled amber glass that provides natural UV protection. Furthermore, consumers can pinpoint the origins of each packaging element on Château Galoupet’s fully transparent sourcing website

Audrey Onolfo from Château Galoupet

Food for thought

Finally, Matt Reid from KIN Food Halls brings guests’ attention back to their surroundings. The food hall’s sustainability-focused design features may not be obvious to the casual observer; for example, its sleek tables have been made using materials like mango peels and crab shells. Meanwhile, some of its bowls have been made using by-products of wheat production. 

KIN’s ambitious plans to address sustainability don’t end there. This year, KIN has been looking into sustainable school food solutions and circular lunchboxes. In the coming months, the company plans to launch multi-brand offerings, selling its first product, free-range organic eggs, in supermarkets this August. 

Ending the day with fruitful networking and delicious snacks

There’s a lot to look forward to, but for now guests are invited to try out some delicious KIN food. Snacking on plant-based sushi, rice-paper rolls and spring rolls, guests mingle once again, chatting and connecting as the meetup draws to an end.

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