Greenpeace has urged the three major fast food restaurant chains to provide a HK$3 discount for customers who bring their own utensils when ordering takeaway meals.

The green group said on Thursday that it had interviewed 12,877 customers between November 26 and December 9. Some respondents were approached outside the branches of the three chains – Café de Coral, Fairwood and Maxim’s MX. Others were contacted over the internet.

Photo: Greenpeace.

Greenpeace found that almost 90 per cent of respondents had said the three chains should be more active in curbing the use of disposable plastic utensils.

Of those interviewed, around 60 per cent said they would use their own utensils if the chains provided a HK$3 discount.

“A HK$3 discount – if customers have their own utensils – is absolutely a fair discount,” said Greenpeace campaigner Chan Hall-sion.

“We estimated that a takeaway set on average uses seven to 14 pieces of plastic, and that the total cost is around HK$2.8. If this cost is turned into a discount, given back to customers with their own utensils, then the cost can be reduced to almost zero, reducing the use of plastic.”

Photo: Greenpeace.

Chan said the three chains hand out more than 180 million pieces of plastic utensils every year for dine-in and takeaway meals, of which more than half came from takeaway meals.

According to Greenpeace, three branches of Café de Coral, four branches of Fairwood and 19 branches of Maxim’s MX use only plastic utensils. Collectively, they hand out five million pieces per month.

Photo: Greenpeace.

On Thursday, five members of Greenpeace dressed up as Santa Claus, a reindeer and a Christmas tree, and campaigned at 22 branches of the eateries as they sang a variation of Jingle Bells to promote their idea.

Photo: Greenpeace.

Last month, the three chains joined a pilot programme launched by the government’s Environmental Campaign Committee. The programme will last until next month.

Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing and guests holding a set of reusable stainless steel cutlery after an event in November 2018. Photo: GovHK.

The Environmental Campaign Committee and the Environmental Protection Department also launched a programme this week in which organisers of a large-scale event can borrow reusable tableware for free.

Event organisers can submit applications to the Environmental Campaign Committee’s secretariat by email, fax or mail.

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Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.