What About Excess Waist?
To cut down waste, some Hong Kong restaurants charge for leftovers
Do you miss the good ol’ days of childhood? The park, the play dates, the eat-everything-on-your-plate-or-else lectures? Well, we can’t fit you on the child-size slide or bring back your pre-K paramour, but if you want to be chided for leaving leftovers, get ye to Hong Kong. In an effort to cut down on excess waste, some restaurants in the territory are fining diners who don’t finish their meals. The amount of edibles ending up in the trash of Hong Kong’s restaurants, hotels, and food manufacturers has more than doubled in the last five years, and cuisine accounts for one-third of daily landfill waste. And it’s not just the trash problem; foodstuffs give off methane, a potent greenhouse gas, as they rot. While the government has set up an experimental composter that converts four tons of food waste a day into mulch, some establishments are taking matters into their own hands: At one upscale diner, patrons must pay 64 cents for every ounce of food they don’t ingest.