An estimated HK$200 million worth of food will go to landfill during the Lunar New Year festivities, a survey by NGO Feeding Hong Kong has found.

Photo: Flickr/Sporkist.

According to the online survey conducted at the end of last year, 60 per cent of the 550 respondents said they had leftovers after their New Year’s meals, whilst 40 per cent had food left over at the end of last year’s celebrations.

Pastries, nuts and sweets were popular gifts among, the survey indicated. Nearly three-quarters gave food as gifts to family and friends, yet 40 per cent said they preferred not to receive food as gifts at all.

See also: NGO takes food waste recycling into own hands as Hong Kong gov’t lags behind 10-year goal

“Food waste is a big environmental concern,” said Feeding Hong Kong Community Engagement Director Fanny Lee in a press release. “At the same time, around one-quarter of Hong Kong’s population lives under the poverty line and struggles to have nutritious meals everyday. Food manufacturers, the catering sector, and the general public all have a responsibility to address food waste. Producing and delivering food consumes a lot of resources, and these resources should be used to support those in need, not squandered.”

Figures from the Environmental Protection Department showed that the quantity of food waste increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, Feeding Hong Kong said.

West New Territories Landfill. File photo: GovHK.

“Feeding Hong Kong calls on the public to reduce food waste by paying attention to portion size when ordering meals, packing leftover food, and taking care not to buy too much food this New Year,” the NGO said.

Feeding Hong Kong urged residents to gift food with longer shelf lives or donate unwanted gifts of food to charities, if they were in good condition.

The NGO added that it welcomed donations of noodles, supermarket vouchers and casual chain restaurant vouchers to support the underprivileged during the festive period.

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Tom Grundy

Tom is the editor-in-chief and founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Al-Jazeera and others.