An Interview with Phillipe Li
Philippe Li is a Business Development Manager at HK Recycles, a social enterprise providing accountable waste management and sustainability solutions to homes, businesses, and whole buildings. A native Hongkonger, Philippe studied in the UK, and learnt his practical skills through recycling his waste each day.
Q: How and when did you start working for HK Recycles? What’s your daily routine and responsibilities?
A: I came back from the UK and found out that no one was recycling in Hong Kong. There were no incentives from the government and no education for the residents. Eventually, I met the founders of HK Recycles and joined their team because I wanted to make a difference and provide real solutions. My job now is to connect to the businesses and develop partnerships based on social corporate responsibility. We are offering customised recycling packages alongside education on recycling.
Q: Why are you doing it? What’s your goal?
A: According to HK Recycles, there’s been a 25% drop in recycling in the last 10 years. Hong Kong’s recycling has reduced by a quarter compared to 10 years ago! I want to change this and help Hong Kong benefit from the recycling and become more environmentally friendly. Besides that, there is a social side to our business: we provide jobs for marginalised and the poorer people.
Q: What are the main challenges you face daily?
A: I see three main challenges. The first is that many Hong Kong residents just have no idea about the benefits of recycling. It’s always easier to throw their rubbish into the nearest bin and forget about it. The second is that Hongkongers don’t trust the Government’s recycling system; the Internet is full of photos of the street cleaners putting recycled items all together into one rubbish bin. So, the third challenge is the system. It’s inefficient. There is no comprehensive data from the Government, and it has even removed many municipal bins from the buildings.
Q: What are your future plans? How do you see yourself in a couple of years?
A: I definitely see myself working on environmental issues and expanding our operations. More businesses are joining our corporate programmes and I see a big future here.
You can learn more about HK Recycles here.