Plastic and Seafood – Can Hong Kong’s Facilities Lead the Way in Sustainability?




Mr. Douglas Woodring 

Founder, Ocean Recovery Alliance  


Presentation Summary:

Hong Kong has a looming waste crisis, and even with a controversial incinerator, we will still need to process 6,000 tons/day. Hong Kong is known to be one of the biggest producers of waste, per capita, but it could easily be one of the most efficient cities in the world for recycling and resource recovery. How can Hong Kong change its way of thinking about waste? Plastic bag charges are a small step in the right direction, but a new waste-charging scheme will turn the city on its head, yet are we ready for it? Plastic is one of the most difficult materials within the waste stream to handle, but if we can collectively solve this waste stream, then others will have more value along the way. Learn how facilities management play a key role in the waste solutions for the city, while creating jobs, innovation, and opportunities along the way.

While plastic is something that impacts our environment if not dealt with correctly, the overfishing of seafood has a similar negative impact on our communities and livelihoods. Over 50% of the world’s fish are now farmed, and Hong Kong continues to be one a large consumer, much of which is done without thought or care to the source, impact or long-term viability. Learn how the live reef fish trade, and other sustainable seafood options, can be a positive factor in branding and consumer attractiveness.


Speaker Profile:

Mr. Woodring is an environmental entrepreneur, a writer, a competitive athlete, a sports event organizer and a creative innovator on community issues. He is the co- founder of Ocean Recovery Alliance, a non-profit organization which is focused on bringing innovative solutions, technology, collaborations and policy together to impact positive improvements for the health of the ocean. Two of the projects currently being launched were announced at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2010, the Global Alert platform, and the Plastic Disclosure Project. In 2008 he co-founded Project Kaisei, which focused on the plastic in the North Pacific Gyre, and he is a UNEP Climate Hero for his efforts. Mr. Woodring has been on the advisory board of the XPrize, and the Economist’s World Oceans Summit, and in 2011, he co-authored the United Nations Environmental Program Yearbook chapter on the danger of plastic in the ocean. He was also the founder of Plasticity at the Rio+20 Earth Summit, a one-day side event focused on the future of plastic, and where the leaders are going with solutions, innovations, and opportunities. He is a much sought after speaker at major environmental conferences, universities and corporate programs. Mr Woodring has worked in Asia for almost 20 years in a number of industries which have been at the forefront of technology within their sectors, mainly related to the environment and new media platforms. Prior to working with technology startups, while at Merrill Lynch Asset Management Hong Kong in 1998, he proposed the company’s first global environmental technology fund which was later launched in 2001. He started his career in Japan, working for one of the largest fishing companies in the world, which is partly where his drive for ocean protection originates. Mr Woodring is active in the environmental community, and has been the Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce’s Environmental Committee in Hong Kong, and helped to start the Hong Kong Shark Foundation, dealing with the overfishing of sharks around the world. He has recently been nominated as World Open Water Swimmer of the Year for his innovative contributions to the sport. Born in Northern California, Mr Woodring has a dual masters degree from The Wharton School (MBA) and Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) where he studied Environmental Economics. He has an undergraduate degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley.