The concept and concern of environment protection have been raised by the public in the last decades. How much do you know about recycling and our environment?
This time, we are honored to have two environmental-friendly gurus: Andy Ho & Eric Swinton as our interviewees.
Andy Ho has been working for many years in the field of sustainable development, energy, and business development. He is an expert in environmental protection and has rich experience and knowledge in the certain field.
Eric Swinton is the founder of V CYCLE and is also on the judging panel of Creative Village’s REBIRTH competition;
Let’s have a look at what they have been doing on the environmental protection cause.
Q. What is the main business of your company?
A. My company develops Reverse Vending Machine (RVM). A vending machine that does the exact opposite way. When you insert empty plastic bottles(PET), or other recyclable waste, it then generates coupon according to the number of input/weight you have inserted. The concept behind this encourages environmental protection and waste recycling.
Q. How well does Hong Kong develop this type of technology?
A. Hong Kong is far behind compared to many other countries in the world. The Same type of machines are already popular and commonly operating in Canada. Regardless of policy, technology or awareness, Hong Kong has a rather low standard.
Q. What is the difficulty in introducing similar technology to Hong Kong?
A. Hong Kong has barely any policy to support environmental protection, the struggle has been huge in Hong Kong for relevant technologies to be developed vigorously.
Q. If you can propose one policy, what would it be?
A. Producer Responsibility Scheme (PRS, refers to the principle of polluter must pay for the pollution that has been made, mainly against manufacturers, importers, retailers and even consumers, etc., a processing fee is charged and calculated based on the production of waste. It is a policy made to punish pollution at its source of production and encourage recycling method.) In 2018, glass bottles levy will be implemented, but in fact, PRS can be applied to so many other items.
Q. To what extent could Reverse Vending Machine be able to solve Hong Kong’s waste and even landfill problems?
A. It would definitely ease the tension in landfill zones. But again Rome wasn’t built in a day. Tons of work needs to be done to solve our crisis. I suggest revising the policy, educate, introduce environmental protection equipment then finally promote the new system.
So What happens next?
Q: Reporter Clark Cant
E: Eric Swinton
Q: V CYCLE – How did you come up with this name?
E: V CYCLE has a very interesting meaning behind it; The letter “V” symbolizes the “life” of an object. For example, plastic bottles from its production to the stage that it got purchased by a consumer is its first peak of its life, that is, the beginning of its “V”. When it got consumed by the purchaser, it goes straight downhill and enters the bottom of “V”.
V CYCLE is the agent to give this object an afterlife when the object is recycled, it becomes part of V CYCLE’s job duty.
The second stroke of “V”, is up-cycling. (Upcycling: the process to convert materials into something useful, higher quality or even luxury.)
Eric and his team have a great experience in both recycling and upcycling, from collecting the material to processing, sterilizing, designing and manufacturing the product, they know everything about the whole process.
Clothes, bags, umbrellas, caps, stationery … unexpected items can also be upcycled and applied.
Q: What makes you engaged in environmental protection industry?
E: I am a Hong Kong citizen and I had been studying and living in the UK for a rather long time since I was a kid until I returned to Hong Kong and settled down ten years ago. Couple years after my return, my career went downhill, things had been rough and unpleasant for a while. When I thought almost nothing would cheer me up, I met my Mentor, learned about Buddhism and became religious. Through this mentorship I was wayward and I would like to make changes to myself. Ever since then I want to be a better person and by becoming a better person I wish to reach out to the people in need around me.
Back to a few years ago, I have made some friends that work on environmental protection. They showed me a lot through their expertise and made me realized the dreadful waste problem in Hong Kong. What they had been doing was selfless and gives meaning to our society to the extent that made me want to be part of this. Therefore, I pray to resolve the waste pollution problems for Hong Kong and by resolving this I am determined to dedicate into this.
Soon after I have met my business partner, Andy, we have been working intimately to develop our environmental protection project, for these years we are working step by step to achieve our goal.
What happens next will surprise you
Environmental protection is a global issue, Eric is willing to serve the society straight after he got back to his feet. He did not long for salvation to answer to his prayer, instead, he kept trying and working on his goal.
Everyone is aware of the environmental issue, Eric made his effort and is determined, are you willing to make your first step?