Fairwood’s HK$2 stainless steel utensils pass durFaability test, porridge shop’s paper spoon softens after 20 minutes

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22nd April 2024 – (Hong Kong) A significant shift in Hong Kong’s approach to plastic waste came into effect today, with the first phase of regulations banning single-use plastic cutlery across all dining and takeaway services. This includes plastic forks, knives, spoons, straws, stirrers, and all foam containers.

In anticipation of these regulations, several restaurants had already announced a nominal fee for eco-friendly utensil options. In a practical test of these alternatives, this reporter visited three popular chain restaurants to evaluate the convenience and durability of bamboo, paper, and stainless steel utensils. Notably, a set of stainless steel utensils offered by the Fairwood chain for HK$2 has sparked lively discussions online about its affordability and quality.

Fairwood has introduced a choice between Chinese and Western eco-friendly utensil sets, available for HK$1 each. They also offer a stainless steel set, which while being lighter than the dine-in versions, proved to be sufficiently robust, resisting deformation under pressure.

Meanwhile, at Ocean Empire, a complimentary paper spoon provided with porridge softened after about 20 minutes, raising concerns about its practicality over extended use. Café de Coral charged an extra HK$1 for wooden cutlery, which although capable of cutting through a chicken steak, required more effort compared to more traditional materials.

Today marks a significant milestone as Hong Kong begins enforcing these new standards aimed at reducing plastic waste. The ban extends beyond utensils to include mini bottled toiletries in hotels and single-use plastic bottles for water, which now may only be provided for a fee.

The Environmental Protection Department has stated that the initial six months will serve as an adjustment period, during which time no penalties will be enforced while businesses adapt to the new requirements. Environmental officials are set to assist and gather feedback on the challenges faced by businesses during this transition.