RHKYC Leads the Way on World Oceans Day
Published: Wednesday, 04 May 2016
The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club announced that the Club would no longer sell beverages in single-use plastic bottles nor provide members with plastic bags or plastic straws from 8 June 2016.
It is an auspicious date being the internationally celebrated World Oceans Day, a United Nations recognised day of celebration and action for the ocean held every 8 June.
The Club’s Rear Commodore Sailing, Anthony Day says, “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, RHKYC is then 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 to promote 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.”
“With RHKYC’s launching of its new initiative that promotes prevention of plastic ocean pollution, the Club is helping lead the charge for healthier oceans. It’s an excellent example of what we hope more organisations will do, celebrating World Oceans Day by using it as a time to announce a new ocean protection initiative and then keep growing on that commitment each year. RHKYC’s initiative aligns perfectly with this year’s World Oceans Day theme of “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet.” It’s exciting that the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club and its membership will be significantly reducing their “plastic footprint” and inspiring many more to do the same in their own lives and businesses. “, says Bill Mott, Director of The Ocean Project. This project has been coordinating World Oceans Day globally since 2002.
In response to the Club’s move, Ocean Recovery Alliance co-founder Doug Woodring says, “Congratulations to the RHKYC for taking the global lead in being one of the first yacht clubs in the world to stop using plastic in its operations, both with plastic bottles, and plastic bags. The ocean is what we all use for recreation as yacht club members, so it is very fitting that engaged leadership is shown to the broader community vis-à-vis ocean appreciation and improvement. Only a small percentage of plastic actually ever gets recycled, even though it is ‘recyclable’, because our systems are not sufficient enough to handle all of the plastic material that we create, use and discard, all over the world. As a result, this permanent material finds its way to our waters, and causes all types of impacts with the environment, ecosystem, and our own health. The ocean does not “absorb” this material when plastic gets into the water, so it is imperative that we as a community help to keep the plastic out of our waste stream in the first place as much as possible. This move also sends a great learning message to our next generation of ocean appreciators.”
President of the International Council of Yacht Clubs (ICOYC) John McNeill also congratulated the Club, "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. "