COVID-19 Allows Hong Kong To Address Food Waste Issue?
It's hard to see what good has come off this relentless COVID-19 pandemic, but a new report claimed that Hong Kong is given a chance to address its food wastage issue as a result of the health crisis.
Hong Kong to Solve Food Waste Issue Because of COVID-19
Hong Kong and many parts of the world actually have a food crisis, even before the pandemic happened. People are simply wasteful. This is why, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, around a third of food produced around the world simply goes to waste. This doesn't seem right considering how many parts of the world, too, are going hungry.
Apart from the simple injustice of it all, food waste also means that resources being used to grow these crops and the like, such as the world's fresh water supply, are being used for nothing. If food ends up being uneaten by those who can and cannot afford it, this means the world's fresh water supply is being depleted for no real purpose.
In other words, wasted foods mean people are just willing to waste already scarce resources.
In Hong Kong, Waste Blueprint once reported that it was able to reduce the daily disposal of food waste to around 0.3kg per capita. It was higher by 17% back in 2013, which is unthinkable. But that's still 820,000 tonnes annually ending in the landfills. The nation's penchant for eating out and having banquets explain some of it. However, analysts hated the idea that this is happening when some parts of the small country were actually plunged in poverty.
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Covid-19 has changed how people eat. Suddenly, banquets cannot be had. Suddenly, restaurants had to close down. The usual bulk-buying practices of restaurants have to end, or they would lose big, as reported by SCMP.
HK Restaurant and Bar Businesses Bearing the Brunt of Crisis?
Tourism-related businesses such as airlines and hotels also experienced the same. Just recently, it was reported by the Hong Kong Bar & Club Association that the city was experiencing a second wave of business closures, because of another spike in COVID-19 infections.
Bar operators are even starting to complain now, claiming they are the ones paying the price for the whole pandemic.
"The nightlife industry should not be the one footing the bill for the entire pandemic," Chin said, adding it was frustrating that bars were always among the first to be ordered to shut and often among the last allowed to reopen whenever waves of infection emerge.
Restaurant and bar owners also said it's wrong to think they would not prioritize social distancing regulations.
"I'm sure most of our peers [in the food and drinks industry] are aware that Covid-19 is still there and won't go against the restrictions and put their staff, customers and licences at risk and get fined," Roden Wong Chu-yin, vice-president of the Licensed Bar and Club Association said.
He is aware that some establishments slip up, but this is not a cause to punish the whole industry.
"However, there will always be some 'bad eggs' within the community that we can't control and we totally understand it's because of the financial pressure coming from landlords, staff salary and delays in government subsidy [and so on], every extra business hour is so precious nowadays," he added.
Obviously, there are many problems linked to the pandemic, and COVID-19 simply cannot be praised. Analysts claimed that it has allowed Hong Kong to address its food waste issue.
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