As all members will be aware, the harbour and the waters in and around Hong Kong are polluted every day with plastic and other waste products. To be part of the solution, the General Committee has decided that with effect from 8 June, the Club will no longer sell beverages in single-use plastic bottles nor provide straws or plastic bags for whatever purpose. This is an auspicious date being the internationally celebrated World Oceans Day; a United Nations recognised day of celebration and action for the ocean held annually.
This is an exciting initiative signaling the start of a broader Club campaign to reduce, re-use and recycle, and we look forward to members’ help and cooperation as we take this bold and positive step towards reducing the negative impact our operations have on the environment.
As our Rear Commodore Sailing Anthony Day has said, “Reducing the amount of waste being dumped into our oceans is one of the challenges of our time. Here in Hong Kong, where recycling is effectively non-existent, it’s impossible to sail far without being struck by the amount of plastic that finds its way into our waters and onto our beaches. As one of the world’s larger and most active yacht clubs, we are uniquely positioned to be able to show innovation and leadership in no longer using or providing plastic bags, bottles or straws. I am proud of our cadets for showing the way through their successful initiatives promoting the use of reusable water bottles over the past three editions of Hong Kong Race Week and grateful both to our management and to our membership for now taking up the ‘plastic free’ challenge with effect from World Oceans Day.”
Support for the move has also been received from the International Council of Yacht Clubs (ICOYC) President, John McNeill, who said, “"For the ICOYC, it is rewarding to see our Member Clubs taking leading action toward assuring the health of the very waters we are blessed with. Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, as a founding member, leads again with this positive action toward securing the future, and showing the way for others in all corners of the world. "
We will be installing filtered water taps at all three Clubhouses near the hardstanding / pontoon areas so that members can easily fill up their own reusable water bottles and containers. We will be adding glass bottles of water to the restaurant and bar menus and to yacht stores, while high volume consumers of water such as big boats can purchase water containers at the Ship Shop. Members wishing to purchase ice at the Club will need to bring their own bags and coolers, which can also be purchased from the Ship Shop.
Members are advised to plan ahead and equip themselves with reusable bottles, water containers and bags as needed.
As for recycling in general; a lot of work is going to go into improving our current waste management processes and at the same time increasing awareness amongst members and staff as to how vital it is that we separate our waste properly. We will be utilising the services of HK Recycles, a social enterprise providing accountable waste management and sustainability solutions; an organization that was founded to stop good recyclables from ending up in Hong Kong's landfills. A particular black spot at the Club are the bins by the pontoons where currently plastic bags containing all manner of waste are put into any bin without separating out the different recyclable materials. We must all work together to ensure that we are recycling properly and we look forward to your support in this regard.
Media Launch4 May 2016
"Not all celebrations on World Oceans Day are actual events, but many are the launch of new initiatives as well. A big congrats to the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC) for this recent endeavor, which will take effect on June 8, World Oceans Day!" - World Oceans Day
"Congrats to Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC) for passing a bylaw to no longer sell beverages in single-use plastic bottles nor provide members with plastic bags or plastic straws!" - Sailors for the Sea
"Game-changing new policy directive by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. We salute you." - A Plastic Ocean
"The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club - one of the world's leading yachting institutions - changes its policy on plastic. Let's hope other yachting organisations follow the RHKYC lead." - Plastic Oceans
"The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club announced that the club will no longer sell beverages in single-use plastic bottles nor provide members with plastic bags or plastic straws. Such a positive impact to the environment!" - 撐香港 Support HK
"What a great news! Thank you Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC)." - Ocean Defender - Hong Kong
" Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club to stop selling drinks in plastic bottles. The move, and a ban on straws and plastic bags, is a reaction to the volume of plastic debris floating in seas around the city and the fact recycling in Hong Kong ‘is effectively non-existent’." - South China Morning Post
"Great move" - Antigua Barbuda Marine Association
"Great move Hong Kong Yacht Club......we hope many now follow." - Rubber Duck Recycling
"It is incredibly gratifying to see leading organisations take up the challenge of reducing plastic waste in HK and in our oceans. Congratulations to the RHKYC for their leadership and uncompromising approach to dealing with a catastrophic problem. There is no substitute for leadership." - Rachel Pang and Fai Hui and Go Green Hong Kong~ 香港綠色生活指南 and 撲水 - Water for Free
"We at HKHM decided to take a stand months ago to support the reduction of plastic usage by encouraging all our members to stop using one time bottles. We are delighted to see other local clubs joining in the effort towards the same goal. We applaud the news just received from RHKYC deciding to stop serving one time use bottles, plastic bags as well as straws." - Hong Kong Hiking Meetup 香港遠足覓合團
"Nice moves Hong Kong....." - Plastic Free Norfolk Island
"It can be done! Well Done RHKYC." - Plastic Free South Coast - NSW
"The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club will no longer sell beverages in single-use plastic bottles or provide members with plastic bags or plastic straws. This will take effect from 8 June 2016, World Oceans Day." - Plastic is a Drug
"Great move Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC)." - Mazu Swimwear
"Nice one Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC)! Hope others will follow this lead!" - Hong Kong Cleanup / 清潔香港
"Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC) is leading the way to plastic-free oceans. So glad to see this happening in Hong Kong!" - Ecozine: Your go-to guide for smarter living