Working Group on Clean Shorelines

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, Secretary for Food & Health Dr Ko Wing-man and Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing brief the media on the progress of plastic pellet cleanup operations. Mr. Wong Kam-sing, the Secretary for the Environment expects close government-community collaboration to protect the environment. The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam (right), and the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing (left) meet with various organisations and individuals to express the Government's appreciation for their assistance in cleaning up the plastic pellets. Mr. Wong, the Secretary for the Environment (left) calls on the community groups to give ideas and views on the protection of Hong Kong's shorelines. Looking on is the Under Secretary for the Environment, Ms Christine Loh (right)

Much public attention has been given to floating refuse in the harbour waters and refuse on beaches in light of recent development, such as the plastic pellet incident in 2012.

In order to keep abreast of the times and to successfully implement strategies for keeping the shorelines clean, the Government set up in November 2012 an inter-departmental working group to review and formulate measures to improve the cleanliness of our shorelines.

The terms of reference and membership of the Inter-departmental Working Group on Clean Shorelines (the WG) are as follows:

Terms of Reference

  1. To identify the sources of marine refuse.
  2. To review the existing measures in handling marine refuse. The areas for review should include the provision of cleansing services, enforcement and educational campaigns.
  3. To explore and formulate action plans and co-ordinate Government’s efforts in preventing and cleaning up marine refuse.
  4. To explore, formulate and co-ordinate joint Government-Public campaigns to promote the environmental benefits of keeping our shorelines clean.


Permanent Secretary for the Environment

Representatives at directorate level from:

  1. Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department
  2. Civil Engineering and Development Department
  3. Drainage Services Department
  4. Environmental Protection Department
  5. Food and Environmental Hygiene Department
  6. Lands Department
  7. Leisure and Cultural Services Department
  8. Marine Department

Assistant Director (Water Policy), Environmental Protection Department

Working Group’s Activities

The Inter-departmental Working Group on Clean Shorelines (the WG) has planned various activities to promote clean shorelines. For details, please see below.

Be Our Partner to organise the Shorelines Cleanup Day (2018-2019)

Since April 2015, the Working Group has launched the Shorelines Cleanup Day to partner with the community to protect the environment and keep Hong Kong’s shorelines clean. Various organisations including schools, non-governmental organisations and commercial companies have joined and contributed to a cleaner coastal environment. This year, we will continue looking partners to organise joint shorelines cleanup events. Our partners will be our co-organisers of individual Shorelines Cleanup Days, mainly to look after the recruitment of volunteers, while we will provide on-site programme briefing on cleanup procedures and refuse data collection for the participants, necessary gears and materials (gloves, garbage bags, data cards, stationery, portable scales, etc.) and, where necessary, land transportation. We will publicise the cleanup events on our website, and other interested individuals could contact the organising partners for participating in the cleanup events.

Tentative Schedule

Date Location Co-organiser
14 April 2018 (Sat)
9:00 am-1:00 pm
Ting Kok, Tai Po Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital Photos Event Achievement
12 May 2018 (Sat)
9:00 am-1:00 pm
Lung Kwu Sheung Tan, Tuen Mun MTR Photos Event Achievement
9 June 2018 (Sat)
9:00 am-1:00 pm
Tai Long Wan, Shek Pik, Lantau* Intercontinental Hong Kong Cancelled due to bad weather
21 July 2018 (Sat)
9:00 am-1:00 pm
Po Chue Tam, Tai O, Lantau* The Federation of Hong Kong and Kowloon Labour Unions
18 August 2018 (Sat)
9:00 am-1:00 pm
Yim Tin Tsai, Tai Po* The Hong Kong Girl Guides Association
* After getting off from coach, participants need to walk about 10-20 minutes to reach the event venue.

The cleanup events from April to August 2018 have been fully registered. The schedule thereafter will be announced on the Clean Shorelines website. We will see if an alternative arrangement such as additional cleanup events can be arranged if possible. Interested to be our partners but have other thoughts on the cleanup dates above? Contact us at 25946578 for more information.

Volunteers are picking up refuse on beach Volunteers are picking up refuse on beach Volunteers are picking up refuse on beach Volunteers are taking a group photo after cleanup


Engagement Session with Community Groups

The Working Group organised an engagement session for interested community groups and public on 24 October 2017 at the Boys' and Girls' Clubs Association of Hong Kong Headquarters.

The engagement session was hosted by Mr Donald Tong, Permanent Secretary for the Environment and Chairperson of the Working Group. Representatives of the Working Group’s member departments also attended. A presentation was made by the representative of the Working Group on the various improvement measures being implemented and their progress, as well as the efforts on the review of marine refuse priority sites and the regional co-operation etc.. This was followed by an open floor discussion for attendees to exchange their views with Government representatives. Valuable views and suggestions on our work done and further measures to be adopted to help keep the shorelines clean were gathered at the meeting.

Powerpoint on Clean Shorelines work 2017

Marine Refuse Priority Sites

(November 2017 Revision)

To facilitate the work of the Working Group, EPD appointed a consultant to conduct a Marine Refuse Study to examine the source, distribution and fate of marine refuse. Based on the study findings, 27 locations have been identified as sites requiring priority actions in removing marine refuse. Since April 2015, additional resources have been deployed to enhance cleansing efforts, especially at the priority sites. More frequent cleansing operations have been arranged during the wet season when more marine refuse is often found at coastal areas. Improvement in cleanliness has been observed at the 27 priority sites, suggesting that stepped up cleansing is an effective means to tackle marine refuse pollution.

EPD commenced a review on the list of Marine Refuse Priority Sites in April 2017. Based on information collected during April 2015 to March 2017 (including cleanliness; concern raised by the public and government departments; amount of refuse; coastal geography, hydrology and land use; cleansing frequency, accessibility by public; and ecological value), EPD conducted an assessment using a scoring system by which sites in different districts each was accorded with a new priority. After an overall evaluation, the list of priority sites was updated in November 2017 to better redeploy resources for improvement of shorelines cleanliness. The new list comprises 29 sites, 15 existing and 14 newly added locations.

The new list of 29 Marine Refuse Priority Sites

15 Existing Locations 14 Newly Added Locations
Ting Kok, Tai Po Tap Mun (East)
Sha Lan, Tai Po Tap Mun (West)
Yim Tin Tsai and Ma Shi Chau Tombolo, Tai Po Starfish Bay, Ma On Shan
Lap Sap Wan, Shek O Tung Lung Island
Cape D' Aguilar, beach next to The Swire Institute of Marine Science Rocky Bay Beach
Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Shek O Beach
Shek Pai Wan, Lamma Lo Tik Wan, Lamma
Sam Pak Wan, Lantau Cheung Chau Tung Wan Beach
Nim Shue Wan, Lantau Cheung Chau Tung Wan (ungazetted beach area)
Pui O Beach Shap Long, Lantau
Shui Hau, Lantau Ham Tin, Lantau
Fan Lau, Lantau Cheung Sha, Lantau (ungazetted beach area)
Tai O, Lantau Tong Fook, Lantau (ungazetted beach area)
Lung Kwu Tan and Lung Kwu Sheung Tan, Tuen Mun Tai Long Wan, Shek Pik, Lantau
Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park
List of Marine Refuse Priority Sites