The health, beauty and pharmac chain Watsons Hong Kong has rolled out a new territory-wide plastic container recycling campaign. Partnering with multinational CPG industry giant P&G, Watsons provides convenient collection points across the city and works with the Hong Kong-based circular economy service The Loops to send plastic personal care containers to a local recycling facility in Tuen Mun.
The new “Plastic Reborn” partnership campaign between Watsons and P&G will see the health and pharmacy chain’s widespread store network across the city serve as a collection point for recycling plastic containers. Working with The Loops, Watsons Hong Kong says that the new initiative aims to “take the lead in driving the circular economy from the retail market”. With over 230 stores in Hong Kong and Macau, Watsons Hong Kong is one of the largest health, beauty and pharmaceutical retailers in the city, only trailing closely behind Dairy Farm-owned Mannings with its 350 outlets. Watsons Hong Kong is a subsidiary of the world’s largest international health and beauty retailer A.S. Watson Group, which is owned by Li Ka-shing’s CK Hutchison.
The latest plastic recycling campaign takes aim at Hong Kong’s rising waste disposal and recovery rates, much of it driven by single-use products and packaging. In 2019, EPD data showed that the average waste disposal rate per person in Hong Kong has reached the highest levels since records began in 1991. Watsons says that offering Hong Kong residents a territory-wide solution to drop off their recyclable containers will lead to the recovery of approximately 110,000 containers within the next 12 months, with the “variety and volume of recyclables to gradually increase in next two years.” Their program also hopes to “enhance citizens’ environmental sustainability mindfulness, as well as to build public trust in the feasibility of plastic recycling,” given rising skepticism from local communities over whether their returned containers will really end up being reintroduced into the supply chain.