Millions of boxes of mooncake are consumed every year, generating considerable amount of waste such as metal containers and other packaging materials. To help mooncake manufacturers to introduce environmental considerations in their packaging design, the Environmental Protection Department (“EPD”) has issued the "Environmental Guidelines on Mooncake Packaging Design" to the trade for reference and guidance. By adopting environmentally friendly packaging, mooncake manufacturers will be able to provide add-on value for their products by optimising the various factors during the design stage, such as environmental protection, hygiene, shelf-life, transportation, appearance, brand image and costs.
To encourage mooncake manufacturers to strengthen the environmental management of the packaging materials, the EPD invited mooncake manufacturers to sign the Voluntary Agreement on Management of Mooncake Packaging since 2008. Under the agreement, the participating manufacturers commit to conserving resources through better design and production processes, facilitating the re-use and recycling of used packaging materials, and minimising the adverse environmental impact arising from the disposal of used packaging in their manufacturing and retail operations. In particular, the mooncake manufacturers will:
Contain the use of packaging materials per unit weight of mooncake to the level of the year in which the Agreement was signed, and endeavour to further reduce packaging materials to practicable limit;
Adopt packaging materials that are recyclable and with minimum environmental impact on post-consumption management; and
Support and facilitate recovery and recycling of used packaging materials.
The mooncake manufacturers that have signed the voluntary agreement for 2011-12 with EPD are:
- Arome Bakery (HK) Co., Ltd.
- da dolce Gelato Italiano
- Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
- Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
- Hang Heung Cake Shop Co., Ltd.
- Holiday Inn Golden Mile
- Hong Kong Gold Coast Hotel
- Kee Wah Bakery Ltd.
- Langham Place Hotel, Mongkok, Hong Kong
- Luna Cake
- Maxim’s Caterers Ltd.
- Panda Hotel
- Saint Honore Cake Shop Ltd.
- Taipan Bread & Cakes Co., Ltd.
- The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Workshop on Management of Mooncake Packaging
To further strengthen the environmental management of the mooncake packaging materials and to promote the Voluntary Agreement, the EPD organized a Workshop on the Management of Mooncake Packaging on 25 June 2010 to update the trade on the development in green packaging and printing and the good management practice for mooncake packaging as well as to share some green tips on good mooncake packaging.
The Voluntary Agreement has successfully aroused the environmental awareness among mooncake manufacturers and there has been continuous improvement in environmental performance of the sector over the past years.
To tie in with the “Hong Kong: Blueprint for Sustainable Use of Resources 2013-2022” issued by the Government in May 2013 to call for concerted effort of the entire community to reduce the municipal solid waste disposal, we have frozen the current scheme of the Voluntary Agreement to explore new measures to better promote the reduction of packaging materials in broader context. Meanwhile, the "Environmental Guidelines on Mooncake Packaging Design" will continue to be a relevant benchmark for the sector to follow.
Recycling of Mooncake Packaging Materials
Apart from the efforts made by the mooncake manufacturers to reduce waste at source, active participation of the public in the recovery of mooncake packaging materials is indispensable. Public may return mooncake packaging materials for recycling through the following programmes:
Source Separation of Domestic Waste