04 Jan 2018

The Hong Kong Rugby Union (“Union”) has announced that from January onwards they will be launching a “Keep Rugby Green” campaign with the aim of reducing the rugby community’s use of disposable plastic bottles and other single-use plastic items. Having worked closely with the Environment Protection Department and LCSD over the past four years in a bid to reduce the environmental footprint of the HK Sevens tournament under the banner of the “Green Sevens” campaign, this marks a much wider phase of building the Union’s sustainability efforts and doing so outside of the Sevens tournament.

“At the Union’s King’s Park Sports Ground in Jordan the clubhouse will no longer be selling water in disposable plastic bottles, nor using plastic cutlery, cups, straws, bags or Styrofoam lunch boxes,” said HKRU CEO Robbie McRobbie. “Environmentally friendly alternatives will be made available, while reusable options will be on sale at the clubhouse kiosk. With 5 million plastic beverage bottles used daily in Hong Kong, and 12 out of 13 of these ending up in our landfills which, as we all know, are rapidly reaching capacity, or even worse in the ocean, we felt it was time to take proactive steps and set a better example to our constituents.”

The current King’s Park clubhouse operator was personally motivated to ban all single use plastics after sailing his boat from Malaysia to Hong Kong last year and seeing the amount of plastic and polystyrene floating in the South China Sea. Kevin McBarron said: “Our selfish behaviour is killing the seas and everything in it - it’s our tragedy, those like me aged over 30 who caused this, now need to be part of the solution if we’re to look our children in the eye.

Away from King’s Park, the Union is partnering with local charity Go Green Hong Kong who have developed an App called “Water for Free” that shows all the locations of water fountains throughout Hong Kong to help users refill their water bottles (non plastic) when they are out and about in public -

The existing drinking fountains at King’s Park will also be augmented by a new Urban Spring dispenser, another local company at the forefront of tackling environmental issues in Hong Kong.

“Thanks to the great work done by Go Green Hong Kong, it is easier than ever to get into the habit of taking a reusable bottle with you when you go to train or play, and simply re-fill at the nearest drinking fountain,” said McRobbie. “It saves you money, and it saves the environment, which sounds like a perfect win-win result!”