Mainland tourists express concern over littered MacLehose Trail, local “Trail Sweeper” clears over 2 tons of trash last Year

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"Trail Sweeper," a proactive volunteer group, focuses on clearing trail litter and organising beach cleanups.

18th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong’s picturesque landscapes have always been a magnet for travellers seeking natural beauty. Among the popular hiking routes, MacLehose Trail stands out, attracting hikers from around the world during weekends and holidays. However, recently, mainland Chinese tourists were dismayed to discover an abundance of litter along the trail, prompting them to make a heartfelt plea on the social media platform Xiaohongshu to cherish MacLehose Trail and protect nature.

A mainland Chinese netizen, under the title “MacLehose Trail, Let’s Not Overcrowd It Anymore!” on Xiaohongshu, expressed deep concern and urged fellow netizens to cherish the environment of MacLehose Trail. The netizen mentioned having completed the entire MacLehose Trail, Wilson Trail, Hong Kong Trail, and Lantau Trail during the pandemic and noted that the environment was exceptionally clean during that time. They also encountered fellow hikers who would hang plastic bags on their backpacks, actively collecting trash while hiking. However, the situation changed after the borders reopened, with an increase in the number of visitors on MacLehose Trail leading to more litter along the way. Hence, the netizen’s post on Xiaohongshu called for everyone to love and protect nature, emphasizing the message, “You are welcome to come, but please take your trash with you.”

In addition to individual efforts, Hong Kong has various volunteer organisations dedicated to preserving the pristine natural environment. “Trail Sweeper,” a proactive volunteer group, focuses on clearing trail litter and organising beach cleanups. Last year alone, they managed to remove over 2 metric tons of trail garbage. Founded in 2015, Trail Sweeper conducts regular volunteer activities, including hiking and cleaning up trash, resulting in significant amounts of trail waste being collected each time. Their statistics for 2023 alone showed an astonishing 2,650 kilograms, or 2.65 metric tons, of trail garbage. If every hiker takes responsibility for their own trash, it would alleviate the hard work of these volunteers and contribute to the preservation of Hong Kong’s beautiful countryside.