How to reduce consumption of plastic bags

Korea plans to ban plastic bags in supermarkets and malls this year to further tighten its crackdown on plastic waste. At present, Korea has in effect a plastic bag levy scheme making it compulsory for retail shops to charge extra fee for plastic bags. The new plan is about to further reduce the use of plastic bags, obliging the 11,000 supermarkets and 2,000 shopping malls to provide instead recycled paper bags, cardboard boxes or reusable bags.

The plan is a stricter enforcement against the use of plastic bags, which eliminates the use of plastic bags at one of the major consumption sources. Hong Kong imposed the first phase of an environmental levy on plastic shopping bags in 2009, which came into full force in 2015 to extend to more than 100,000 retail points. Though the levy yielded a significant decrease in the landfill disposal of plastic bags from the retail industry in the initial phase, consumption of the bags rebounded in 2016 at more than 9%. A more stringent approach may be needed to cut down on the usage.

Imposing a ban in the retail industry can be one effective measure. Hong Kong may learn from Korea in the fight against the consumption of plastic bags. Countries or regions such as Australia, China, Kenya, Chile, Karnataka in India, etc also ban the use of plastic bags. While it is vital for the government to take the lead in reducing plastic bag consumption, citizens’ environmental awareness to cut down on the usage is just as critical. Citizens can reduce plastic bag usage according to the 4R principles, namely reduce, reuse, recycle and replace.

In order to reduce the usage, we should only use plastic bags when necessary. Replacing plastic bags with reusable ones is an effective way. To make the most out of used plastic bags, we should reuse used ones. For example, we can clean the used plastic bags and save them in a tissue box to be easily dispensed for reuse. Making creative use of the plastic bags is also a good idea, such as crafting artistic decorations, recycled bags, umbrella wraps etc. We should avoid throwing plastic bags away by recycling the bags at the “brown” recyclables collection bins. By minimising the consumption of plastic bags and maximising the use, we can help build a greener city.


如何減少使用膠袋

南韓計劃今年內禁止超級市場和商場提供塑膠袋,現時韓國實行塑膠購物袋徵費,新政將進一步打擊塑膠廢物污染。韓國1.1萬間超市和2000個商場在新政下只能提供紙袋、紙箱或可重用膠袋代替膠袋。

南韓的膠袋新政嚴厲打繫塑膠袋,從消耗源頭減少使用膠袋。香港於2009年推行塑膠購物袋環保徵費計劃首階段,並在2015年全面實施,涵蓋逾100,000零售點。徵費計劃雖在首階段大量減少來自零售業的堆填區膠袋棄置量,但數字在2016年回升逾9%,若要改善情況,需更嚴厲的做法。

香港可學效南韓,禁止零售業提供膠袋。事實上許多國家或地區亦已實施無膠袋的做法,如澳洲、中國、肯雅、智利、印度的卡納塔克邦等等。雖然減少膠袋使用由政府帶頭至關重要,但市民有環保意識主動少用膠袋亦必不可少。市民可參考4R原則來減廢,即減少(Reduce)、重用(Reuse)、循環再用(Recycle)和替代(Replace)。

為了減少使用,我們應在必要時才使用,儘量以可重復使用的購物袋代替膠袋。如非必要用膠袋的話,膠袋使用後亦要物盡其用,例如,清潔後可用空紙巾盒放好方便下次使用。或創意利用膠袋,製作成藝術裝飾、環保袋或雨傘袋等,亦不失為廢物利用的好方法。如果要棄置膠袋,我們應該避免直接丟棄,而應把膠袋棄置到「啡膠樽」回收桶,讓膠袋得以循環再用。綠色城市需要市民的努力,以減少使用和物盡其用來減廢。

How to live a normal pressure life

Recently I came across this blood pressure chart, which shows the blood pressure readings from low, normal, prehypertension to hypertension. Hypertension is the medical term for a high blood pressure. The normal blood pressure reading for an adult should be less than 120 over 80 (<120 systolic and <80 diastolic).

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There are many reasons that lead to hypertension, such as a stressful lifestyle, tight schedules, unhealthy diets, a lack of exercise, insufficient sleep, etc. All are commonplace in a hectic urban lifestyle. No wonder hypertension remains one of the most commonly seen diseases in urbanites. Other factors that contribute to hypertension include bad habits like smoking, drinking, etc, genetics and ageing.

While a busy urban lifestyle may be unavoidable, we can try to squeeze in healthy patterns to lower our blood pressure and relieve stress. The following is a list of items contributive to a normal blood pressure and a less stressful life:

  • Exercise more
  • Eat more vegetables, fruit, and less salt
  • Cut down on caffeine and alcohol
  • Gain adequate sleep
  • Keep an eye on your body mass index (BMI) and lose weight when necessary
  • Manage stress

I believe everybody is well acquainted with the items, and the rest lies in how to realise it. Despite a busy schedule, I try to embed the items into my daily routine such as walking whenever possible. I also find apps that help you keep a healthy lifestyle very useful. There are lots of mobile apps out there that help you set goals and track progress. For example, some sports apps record your exercise patterns in a calendar, and encourage you to do exercise with regular reminders. These apps allow you to keep track of your goals with measurable figures and to adjust goals accordingly.

Everybody is different, so how to adapt the items into one’s routine varies too. Nevertheless, setting measurable goals and tracking progress are critical. Mobile apps can play a part here. I hope everybody can find a way to realise a normal pressure lifestyle.


如何保持血壓正常和身心舒暢

最近看見這張高血壓指引圖,以不同顏色標示血壓高低的標準,包括低、正常、高血壓前期到高血壓。高血壓是指血壓升高使心臟推動血液循環時的負擔加大。成年人的正常血壓普遍為收縮壓(Systolic Blood Pressure )小於120 mmHg及舒張壓(Diastolic Blood Pressure)小於80 mmHg。

導致高血壓的成因有多種,例如緊張的生活節奏、忙碌的工作日程、不健康飲食、缺乏運動、睡眠不足等等,在繁忙的都市生活中十分普遍,城市人都已習以為常,高血壓成為常見都市病。其他導致高血壓的因素包括吸煙和酗酒等不良生活習慣、遺傳和年老等自然因素。

雖然忙碌的生活方式無可避免,我們仍可儘量把良好的習慣融入到生活中,從而降低高血壓,同時釋放壓力。以下是一些保持正常血壓和減輕壓力的做法︰

  • 多做運動

  • 多吃蔬果,減少鹽攝取量

  • 減少攝取咖啡因和酒精

  • 保持足夠睡眠

  • 留意自己的身高體重指數(BMI),有需要時減重

  • 舒緩壓力

相信大部分人對以上的建議都不陌生,只欠實踐一步。像很多人一樣,我也十分忙碌,即使如此,我亦嘗試把建議融入到平時的日程中,如多走動等。市面上亦有很多手機程式能幫你健康生活,例如一些助你訂下目標和追踪進度的程式,還有許多運動程式能把你的運動紀錄記在月曆上,並定時提醒你做運動。這些程式讓你更容易查看自己的運動紀錄,包括數據和時間,讓你可輕易調整步伐。

每個人都不一樣,如何實踐低壓生活亦然,但設定可量度的目標和追踪進度必不可少,善用手機程式是其中一個用效方法助我們達標。

 

Hong Kong Disneyland — The Past and the Present

Every time the flight takes off from or is about to land Hong Kong, I take a look at the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge to see how the construction progress goes so far and look forward to the bridge’s opening.

In the old day long before the construction of the bridge began, I used to do the same checking out places on the plane nearing or leaving Hong Kong. But back then l was always looking at the place about to be reclaimed to build the Hong Kong Disneyland, when there was no Mickey Mouse but power plants and shipyards. It was in the Penny’s Bay. I was heavily involved in the development of Phase 1 Disneyland, so we used to take regular boat trips to the site to explore decontamination for the development. People there always finished work on time because the last boat to the city was 5pm. Perhaps out of the special feelings I had for the place, I would check out that place on plane and now, there was the Disneyland.

This Saturday I went on a site visit to the Disneyland to explore the Phase 2 development. It was such a sunny day and things seemed to be the same old same old: Disney characters, Mickey Mouse shaped windows on the Disneyland Train, themed streets and houses, etc. But I am a grownup now.

When I was kid my dream was to visit all Disneylands in the world. I already went to the ones in California, Florida, Tokyo, Paris and this one in Hong Kong. I hope to see the one in Shanghai soon.


香港迪士尼樂園今昔

每次乘搭飛機在香港機場降落或離港,我都會看向港珠澳大橋看看興建進度,期待大橋啟用的一天。

在開建港珠澳大橋以前,每次乘搭飛機挨近或離開香港我也習慣看向窗外,只是當時看向竹篙灣即將填海來建迪士尼樂園的地方,那時還未有米奇老鼠,只有船廠和發電廠。因為我們參與迪士尼樂園第一期的環境顧問工作,所以要定期搭船去考察即將填海的地方,研究填海相關的除污工作。當時人們總是準時下班,因為最後一班回市區的船五點就開。也許因為對這個地方有特殊的情感,當時總喜歡搭飛機時看向這個地方,而現在就是迪士尼樂園了。

這個星期六我去了迪士尼樂園,為第二期發展進行考察。是日陽光普照,迪士尼看來和往常一般,有迪士尼的卡通人物、米奇老鼠圖案的火車、主題大街和建築等等。以前來玩,現在卻是來工作了。

我小的時候夢想是遊覽全世界的迪士尼樂園,已經到過加州、佛羅里達州、東京、巴黎和香港的迪士尼,只欠上海的迪士尼,不知何時能到上海完成兒時的願望。

 

Belt and Road Summit 2018 celebrated success of the development while reflecting on more future collaborative opportunities

I was excited to join the Belt and Road Summit 2018, where officials from the mainland and Hong Kong as well as industry leaders gathered on this occasion to share updates and inspirations on the Belt and Road development. It was held in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, and attracted around 5000 people from 55 countries to come together to explore the summit’s theme, Collaborate for Success.

The Chief Executive of the HKSAR, Carrie Lam, gave an opening speech for the occasion, while the Chairman of the HKTDC, Vincent HS Lo, delivered the welcoming remarks. In the uplifting speeches, we could clearly feel the success of and prosperity brought by the initiative. During the summit, a free trade agreement was signed between Hong Kong and Georgia. As a door to the Caucasus and Central Asia, Georgia will play a critical role in linking Europe and Asia and the free trade agreement marked a promising beginning.

At the Plenary Session titled “Action through Collaboration: Case Studies on Signature Belt and Road Projects” chaired by President of Asia Financial Holdings Limited, Bernard Chan, Belt and Road initiative investment opportunities were discussed and insights shared by President of China Communications Construction Group Liu Qitao, Vice Chairman of All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce and Chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Li Shufu, Chairman of MTR Corporation Limited Professor Frederick Ma, Chairman of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation Manuel V Pangilinan, and Vice Chairwoman of Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN Indonesia) and Chief Executive Officer of Sintesa Group, Shinta Widjaja Kamdani. This marked the highlight of the summit. Afterwards many discussion sessions unfolded where financing for infrastructure, information technology, engineering, green finance, risk management, legal services, etc were explored.

It was an eye-opening experience to hear reviews from industry leaders on the development of the national strategy. It also offered a good chance of reflecting on what role your industry plays and what position can be taken in this initiative.


一帶一路高峰論壇慶祝發展成果,審視未來合作機會

我十分高興能參與今年的一帶一路高峰論壇,會上內地和香港官員,及各行各業的領袖聚首一堂,分享一帶一路的成果和最新發展,並審視未來的合作機會。是次論壇在香港會議展覽中心舉辦,吸引來自五十五個國家約五千人參與,深入探討今年的主題「全方位合作」,場面盛大。

會議在行政長官林鄭月娥的開幕辭和貿發局主席羅康瑞的歡迎辭下順利開始,會上我們亦見證了香港和格魯吉亞簽署自由貿易協定,格魯吉亞是通往高加索和中亞地區的重要樞紐,在接通歐洲和亞洲上扮演關鍵角色,而這次的自由貿易協定可望為雙方帶來更多合作機會。

接着的討論環節以「共商合作 共拓商機:探討一帶一路重點項目」為主題,由亞洲金融集團總裁陳智思主持,討論嘉賓有中國交通建設集團董事長劉起濤、全國工商聯副主席兼浙江吉利控股集團董事長李書福、香港鐵路有限公司主席馬時亨、菲律賓基建企業 Metro Pacific Investments Corporation 主席彭澤仁 (Manuel V Pangilinan),以及印尼工商會副主席兼 Sintesa 集團行政總裁 Shinta Widjaja Kamdani,深入探討了一帶一路的投資機會,分享了相關經驗。討論環節後多場論壇陸續展開,由各領域專業人士相互討論,多項專題包括基建融資、資訊科技、工程、綠色金融、風險管理以及法律服務等方面,從不同面向探討相關議題。

此次論壇可以聽到來自行業領袖關於國家級戰略的回顧和分析,真是讓人眼界大開,亦是個重新審視自己行業從中扮演甚麼角色及如何把握機遇的好機會。