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Tue December 11 2018

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HK government backs upcycling of bamboo scaffolding

11 Jun The Hong Kong government is backing an initiative aimed at making new things out of bamboo that has been used on construction sites.

Bamboo is a familiar sight in Hong Kong where it is used as scaffolding and for creating temporary structures, but much of it ends up in landfills after use.

This year 49t of bamboo used to set up stalls at 15 Lunar New Year fairs was collected for the Reuse & Upcycling Programme for Bamboo.

The scheme was set up by the Environmental Protection Department and the Environmental Campaign Committee, together with non-profit organisations Green Come True and JupYeah.

Green Come True Co-founder Hill So said bamboo can be made into a wide variety of objects including tables and swings.

At upcycling workshops held by Green Come True, people have given the used bamboo a second life by making wind chimes, pen holders and even rain sticks, an instrument which makes a noise resembling rainfall.

Environmental Protection Department senior administrative officer James Chan said that he hopes the programme can show the public upcycling can be a fun process.

Participant Ho Siu-yu said upcycling the bamboo helps lessen the burden on Hong Kong's landfills. She said: "Our landfills are nearly at capacity, so I believe it will be good for Hong Kong if we recycle or upcycle more materials."

Environmental group JupYeah, which is Cantonese for "picking things up", invites local designers and architects to use old bamboo creatively. The bamboo they collected was used for large tables at a charity book sale event.

Co-founder Ren Wan said: "If we want to solve our environmental problems we need creativity to explore more possibilities."

Environmental Protection Department senior administrative officer James Chan said the Reuse & Upcycling Programme for Bamboo shows upcycling can be a fun process. "We would like to use the programme as a means to tell the public that if we unleash our creativity, we can really show our care to the environment and have fun in the process,” he said.

The department plans to continue collecting used bamboo from Lunar New Year fairs and to invite more organisations to participate in the programme.

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