HK CLEANUP CELEBRATES MASS MOVEMENT, PARTNERSHIP, OVER 3,500T OF RUBBISH CLEARED

Celebrity Goodwill Ambassadors Jocelyn Luko-Sandstrom, Anthony Sandstrom, Rosemary Vandenbroucke, Robert and Sally Lo joined the celebration to recognize this year’s volunteers, sponsors and partners

Hong Kong, November 26, 2014 – Citizens and friends of Hong Kong turned out in tens of thousands this autumn in support of a cleaner environment by participating in the 14th annual Hong Kong Cleanup and cleaning up thousands of tonnes of rubbish.

More than 3,500 tonnes of rubbish was collected and counted during the Hong Kong Cleanup Challenge, which took place in hundreds of locations around the territory during the period from September 20 to November 8, 2014.

At a ceremony to recognize the volunteers and the Cleanup’s achievement this year, held yesterday, attendees including goodwill ambassadors Jocelyn Luko-Sandstrom, Anthony Sandstrom, prominent guests Robert Lo, Sally Lo and Rosemary Vandenbroucke, also celebrated the success of the new and existing partnerships. Ecozine, the official organizer, welcomed onboard The Nature Conservancy as co-organizer, while financial firm Nomura continued to support as Presenting Sponsor for the 6th year running.

Now in its 14th year, the annual Hong Kong Cleanup Challenge is the region’s largest volunteer event; last year, Hong Kong came 3rd out of 97 countries and territories worldwide in terms of participant numbers, according to Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. This year, the event grew again with more than 400 teams taking part.

In 2014, 418 teams comprising 51,064 participants, collected a total of around 3,894,000 kilograms of rubbish from an area of more than 1,847km of beach, country parks and city streets during the seven-week Challenge.

Hong Kong generates 6 million tonnes of waste per year – equivalent to 240,000 double decker buses, more than 50 times the number of buses in Hong Kong – and the government is already spending millions of dollars to clean up and dispose of it. With the landfills in Hong Kong almost full, vast amounts are left to nature, which not only threatens wildlife and ecosystems, but also puts human health and safety at risk along with undermining tourism and economic activity.

While some of the rubbish polluting the sea originates from cargo ships, cruise liners, fishing and military vessels disposing of waste overboard, an estimated 80% of ocean rubbish originates from the land. Plastic bottles, plastic bags, fishing line, cigarettes, lunch boxes, candy wrappers, syringes, and tires are just a few of the items commonly found washed up or in the sea.

The Hong Kong Cleanup not only provides a way for tens of thousands of participants to remove rubbish from our environment, but it also reinforces that each of us, as consumers of goods and producers of those goods, has a responsibility to reduce, prevent, and clean up.

This year, the organizers initiated the “Trash Bucket Challenge”, which is a spinoff of the ever famous ‘ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.’ “The issue we wanted to bring light to is the ridiculous amount of trash that litter our beaches, and country trails, as a result of the world’s overuse of plastic” said Lisa Christensen, Founder and CEO of the Hong Kong Cleanup. The challenge was simple, volunteers were invited to go to any public place, be it a beach, park or the streets, and collect a bucket of trash. Then responsibly dispose of (recycle) the trash, and call on others to do the same. However, unlike the monetary windfall the ALS Association has enjoyed, Christensen says the challenge is more of a call to action. The Trash Bucket Challenge spread across the world, with people joining in from where it originated in Hawaii to India, Africa to South America, and all across Asia. Click here to watch Jocelyn and Tony Sandstrom, the Hong Kong Cleanup celebrity ambassadors taking on the “Trash Bucket Challenge.”

“Unfortunately, what we see dirtying our city streets, country parks, beaches and floating on the ocean’s surface is just the tip of the iceberg. In the past week, it has been reported how an island of rubbish the size of Texas is floating in the Pacific Ocean — because we can’t see it here doesn’t make it any less important”, said Christensen. “That’s why the Hong Kong Cleanup is taking bold action, working to stop the flow of rubbish at the source. We want to prevent this rubbish from choking and entangling dolphins or endangering sea turtles; and we want to ensure local beaches and economies are not ruined by it.”

“The HK Cleanup gives us all a way to help the environment. Nature provides us the clean water and air, and safe food that we take for granted, we need to do our best to take care of it so it can keep taking care of us,” said Louisa Ho, Hong Kong Program and Asia Pacific Council Development Director for The Nature Conservancy, co-organizer of the event.

Chris Antonelli, Global Co-head of Prime Services at Nomura and Executive Sponsor of Nomura CARES, the investment bank’s philanthropy network, said, “In our continued effort to drive environmental sustainability, Nomura has been the presenting sponsor of the Hong Kong Cleanup for six consecutive years. It is encouraging to see increasing participation from our employees, their families and friends in this event every year. I was proud to experience the commitment of our employees to the environment at this year’s Cleanup. At Nomura it is our firm belief that we all have a duty to help protect the environment in our local communities and contribute to a sustainable future.”

2014 HONG KONG CLEANUP CHALLENGE TOTALS

SUMMARY # PPL KG trash KM TEAMS
Coastal

13,611

2,655,268

666.5

310

Country

608

507,443

514.5

39

City

36,845

730,854

666

69

TOTAL

51,064

3,893,565

1847

418

(*Final numbers subject to change as some data has not been submitted)

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About Us

The Hong Kong Cleanup, having engaged over 150,000 volunteers in cleaning up over 350,000 kg of trash and now in its 14th year, the Hong Kong Cleanup Challenge is firmly established as a well-loved and vital part of the Hong Kong event landscape. Its aim is to educate, empower and advocate Hong Kong citizens on the subject of waste reduction in support of a cleaner, healthier future for Hong Kong and the planet. HKcleanup.org

Ecozine is a premier media platform devoted to sustainable lifestyle, for people who want to live well without costing the Earth. Ecozine’s mission is to make green mainstream, by providing content, experiences, and tools to serve our community. Producing a quarterly print magazine, free weekly e-newsletter, daily-updated website resources and world-class events, it is a go-to guide for smarter living. Ecozine is the Organizer of the Hong Kong Cleanup. Ecozine.com

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is Hong Kong Cleanup’s new partner and official co-organiser. TNC are the leading conservation organisation working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Nature Conservancy addresses the most pressing conservation threats at the largest scale. Thanks to the support of more than 1 million members, TNC has built a tremendous record of success since their founding in 1951. TNC is the Co-organizer of the Hong Kong Cleanup. tnc.org.hk

Nomura is a leading financial services group and the preeminent Asian-based investment bank with worldwide reach. Nomura provides a broad range of innovative solutions tailored to the specific requirements of individual, institutional, corporate and government clients through an international network in over 30 countries. Based in Tokyo and with regional headquarters in Hong Kong, London, and New York, Nomura employs over 27,000 staff worldwide. Nomura’s unique understanding of Asia enables the company to make a difference for clients through three business divisions: retail, asset management, and wholesale (fixed income, equities, and investment banking).

Nomura’s Corporate Citizenship focuses on achieving our goal of enhancing social sustainability ‘for future generations’. The firm has developed corporate social responsibility programs throughout the world. Nomura is the Presenting Partner of the Hong Kong Cleanup. www.nomura.com

hkcleanup_press_releaseThe 2014 Hong Kong Cleanup Challenge grand totals were announced by (from left) Celebrity Ambassador Jocelyn Sandstrom, Presenting Sponsor Nomura’s Chris Antonelli, Celebrity Ambassador Tony Sandstrom, The Nature Conservancy’s Louisa Ho, and Hong Kong Cleanup Co-founders Lisa Christensen and Nissa Marion.

Please find photos for media usage at the following link: Media Pictures HKC Award Ceremony.