#Hashtag Hong Kong



    Listen to #Hashtag Hong Kong every Sunday morning at 8.15

    Focussing on issues affecting civil society, we'll hear from representatives of NGOs, associations, statutory bodies, and non-profit groups.

    (Sundays 8.15am - 8.25am)



    Kim So-yeon, Student Intern, Soap Cycling

              Hello, my name is So Yeon. I am working as a student intern in Soap Cycling, a charity that recycles lightly used soaps from hotels to bring better hygiene to those who need it the most and help fight the waste crisis in Hong Kong.


                It is only one month until Christmas and the holiday season until Chinese New year! The season of gifts, sharing and spreading love.  How are you planning to spend the season of joy? Going on a trip for a special holiday experience? Well, I am convinced that at least some of you have booked luxurious hotels in Hong Kong for a ‘staycation’. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, ‘staycation’ means a vacation that you spend near your home rather than traveling to another place. There was a local staycation boom in Hong Kong for a while, especially when the pandemic has hit the city in 2020 and 2021.


                Spending quality time in a hotel is certainly a nice way to take a break and recharge yourself. However, have you ever thought of where all the used soaps or shampoos that you have left behind end up? Most of the hotels provide fresh soap, shampoo, and hair conditioner as basic amenities every day. They come in a fancy plastic packaging, and are replaced everyday even when the guest has not finished using it. More than 2 million bars of soap are discarded by hotels in Hong Kong every year, which can actually fill in volumes of 400 carpark lots.


                This seemingly trivial problem has a huge environmental impact on our community. This triggered Soap Cycling to start the journey to promote hygiene and protect our environment. We collect the lightly used soaps and other sanitation amenities from hotels, and recycle them and bring them into the hands of those who need them the most. Soap Cycling works in Hong Kong and Singapore, and also receives soaps from hotels in South Korea and Japan. The recycled soaps are shipped to the Philippines to support school hygiene programs; hygiene kits and liquid soaps are distributed only locally to underprivileged people with the help of our NGO partners.


                While trying to take a role in bringing about a more sustainable world, Soap Cycling also aims to create a socially inclusive community. Our MEY Program, which stands for the Cantonese word “mey” for beauty and M minorities, E elderly, and Y youth, provides employment opportunities for these often marginalized community members.

    …When you come to one of our recycling sessions run by student interns, our friendly and talented elderly workers will always be there to give you a hand. Should you choose to learn how to make soap from scratch, our soap master ladies with a minority background will be your teachers.


                Joining some of the educational interactive sessions at our warehouse is an entertaining way you can support our core work as an NGO. Our mission to reduce waste needs as many supporters as possible, and we cannot emphasize enough the important role of individuals choosing to join the cause in addressing environmental concerns. Small actions and decisions make a big difference. We have a lot of tips on how you can turn this Holiday Season into a season of giving and truely spreading love to all.  If you want to protect the environment, and are willing to make a step forward, let’s start from there together.


                Here are some very easy steps you can take while you enjoy a staycation or vacation at a hotel to make it more eco-friendly. First, bring a bar soap of yours to the hotel! Bar soaps do not have plastic overwrap or packaging, which contribute to reducing plastic waste that is thrown into landfill without being recycled. Another positive impact of natural bar soaps is that it does not have the chemical polluting the water often found in liquid soaps. Many bar soaps come with organic ingredients, with so many benefits- why not change to bar soap entirely and get rid of all the plastic waste at home, too?  Second, you can make a request to the hotel not to replace single-used plastic hygiene kits. Hygiene kits in hotels, including shampoos, hair conditioners, and hand washes are replaced everyday. Most of the products are single use plastic, which is a great waste of resources since disposable plastic items cannot biodegrade. Ask yourself whether you can finish using the shampoos or soaps within one day. For most of you, the answer would be no. So when you go on a staycation, just call the front desk and tell them there is no need to change your amenities every day!


                There are a myriad of decisions one can choose to make in order to make a positive environmental impact. It does not have to be a big move. And it can be fun, too! Here, the good news is that Soap Cycling is co-hosting a Christmas market with The Green Hospitality from 23rd to 27th of December in West Cultural Kowloon District, and we are selling a variety of handmade MEY soaps. Visiting a Christmas market is great fun! What about giving some unique bar soaps as a Christmas gift for your friends and families this year?  Isn’t it a genuine Christmas spirit, reflecting others on what’s really important in our lives? 

    04/12/2022 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:30)

    04/12/2022 - Kim So-yeon, Student Intern, Soap Cycling


    10 - 12



    Fay Siu, Chief Executive, Association for the Rights of Industrial Accident Victims


    Dr. Ada Yung, Board of Directors, The Epilepsy Foundation of Hong Kong


    Sally Andersen, founder of Hong Kong Dog Rescue




    Stanley Shea, spokesperson of The Hong Kong Marine Protection Alliance


    Kalina Tsang, Director General of Oxfam Hong Kong


    Owen Chan, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Automobile Association



    Dr Polly Cheung, Founder, Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation

    October is the month dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness around the world. Pink ribbons, banners and posters pop up in many shops and corners in the city. The Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation holds its annual Pink Walk and Pink Together event, to raise awareness of breast cancer among the public and encourage people to adopt a healthier life style, including doing more exercise, eat healthily, avoid smoking and alcohol, and learn to relieve stress.
    Breast cancer awareness has two parts. One, is to note any change in the breasts, such as lumps, skin changes, sudden enlargement or asymmetry. Second, is to undergo regular mammography screening.
    Breast cancer is an important health hazard to Hong Kong women. It has persistently been the most common cancer affecting Hong Kong women for 28 years since 1994. According to the latest figures from the Hong Kong Cancer Registry in 2019, 1 in 14 women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. Every day, 13 people are newly diagnosed and 2 die of breast cancer.  
    Early detection saves lives. Breast cancer screening can detect early breast cancers which may not be palpable, and thereby reduce mortality. Mammography screening is available in at least 34 countries in the world, including UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, USA, many European and South American countries. In Asia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan have government-funded breast cancer screenings. In mainland China, dual cancer screening for women, namely cervical and breast cancer, is advocated and supported by the Government, especially in the rural areas. 
    Successful breast cancer screening can detect 5-10 cases of breast cancer for every 1,000 persons. The Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation has provided breast cancer screening services to 85,000 women since 2011 at their Breast Health Centers. Out of 1,000 asymptomatic women, 7 were found to have breast cancer, the detection rate is similar to international figures. 
    In Taiwan, results from their breast screening program are very encouraging. For the 1.5 million women who received regular mammography screening in the past two decades, breast cancer staging II and above was reduced by 30%, and the death rate was reduced by 40%.
    In the past years, the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation has submitted policy address proposal to the Chief Executive, advocating a three-phase approach to breast cancer screening: first, to implement regular screening for high-risk women; second, to provide free screening for low-income women; and thirdly, based on data from the first and second phase, to work towards universal breast cancer screening.
    Today, Hong Kong has taken an important step in breast screening. The Department of Health has launched a Breast Cancer Screening Pilot Scheme in September 2021, offering two yearly mammography screening to average risk women. The program adopts a risk-based approach. Women between the ages of 44 and 69, are considered high risk if they have any of the following risk factors, namely a first degree relative having breast cancer, obesity, lack of physical activity, first menstrual period at the age 11 or earlier, never had a baby, had their first child after age 30, or had a history of benign breast disease. They can also use the breast cancer risk assessment tool developed by the University of Hong Kong to calculate their own individualized breast cancer risk. If they are in the 25% highest risk category, they will be eligible for government subsidized breast screening, with access to government-funded mammography examinations at the three Women's Health Centres, run by the Department of Health.
    In Hong Kong, more than 1.5 million women are aged between 44 and 69. According to statistics from the Department of Health, more than half of the adults do not exercise enough. Considering physical inactivity alone as a risk factor for breast cancer, at least 750,000 women will be eligible for risk based screening. Adding other risk factors to reach the highest 25% risk category, at least 187,500 women should be offered two yearly breast screening. The Government needs to encourage participation of NGOs and private medical institutions through public-private partnership, to provide adequate screening services to the public.
    In this October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I urge you to turn knowledge into action, examine your breast health and start regular breast screening. And, support our Pink Together 2022 campaign. This year, we encourage women to do more exercise and to donate for the worthy cause of mitigating the breast cancer threat in Hong Kong.


    02/10/2022 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:30)

    02/10/2022 - Dr Polly Cheung, Founder, Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation

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