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April 29, 2015

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HK’s water dispensers ‘below par’

More high-quality water dispensers should be installed in prominent locations in Hong Kong to help reduce bottled water consumption and plastic waste, a local think tank said yesterday.

According to a survey released by Civic Exchange, more than half of respondents drink bottled water, while 16 percent are heavy consumers, as “convenience” is the main consideration in drinking water choice.

The survey also showed 91 percent of consumers usually buy bottles of less than 1 liter in volume, which are usually intended for immediate personal consumption but more wasteful of plastic than bulk household purchase of larger bottles.

“Bottled water is in theory an unnecessary and avoidable source of plastic waste as potable water is easily available from the municipal water supply,” said Civic Exchange’s chef executive Yan-yan Yip.

Only 26 percent of respondents said they had used a public water dispenser in the past six months, though 46 percent expressed a willingness to use water dispensers if they were widely available and provided water of similar quality to bottled water.


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