August 2005

Hong Kong political party issues ten demands for Disney to be environmentally friendly

Hong Kong political party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) has sent an environmental wish-list to Walt Disney Co, demanding its soon-to-be opened theme park be a model of green awareness, DAB legislator Choy So-yuk said.

Among the recommendations, the resort is being urged to recycle its toilet water, turn waste food into compost for lawn fertilizer and build gardens on its roofs.

It is also urged to halt the sale of shark’s fin soup and other food considered ecologically unsound — plans that have already landed the resort in hot water with environmentalists.

The list of 10 demands was drawn up by the conservative DAB, the party most favored by Beijing.

“If Disney sets a good environmental example, people going there will not only have a good time but they will also learn something,” Choy said, announcing the recommendations.

Among the DAB’s more radical proposals is that the resort, to be opened in September, reduce the amount of plastic bags it hands out and that it bans the sale of wasteful products like disposable cameras and paper tissues.

Disney is at the center of a global row over its intention to serve shark’s fin soup at wedding banquets, a luxury delicacy whose popularity in Hong Kong and China is blamed for a drastic drop in shark populations worldwide.

Under pressure from green groups, Disney has vowed to source its shark’s fin from suppliers who do not inhumanely “fin” sharks — that is, hack off their fins and then throw the animals back into the sea to die. It will also hand leaflets to party hosts explaining the barbarity of shark-fin harvesting.

Choy said adopting her party’s environmental plan will be good for Disney’s business.”If they did this they would have less bad publicity like the shark’s fin row,” Choy said.

A spokeswoman for Disney said the company will take the DAB proposals on board and follow the territory’s environmental impact guidelines.


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