Earth Day HourPlastic and the Pandemic: Impact of Covid-19 on Disposable Wastes 

30th Anniversary
Seminar, Lecture, Talk




Earth Day is an annual event that highlights environmental concerns and encourages civic action. The theme this year is Invest in our Planet. With the global pandemic and widespread concern about public health and to address the problems associated with coronavirus and the environment, this one-hour roundtable discussion provides a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas from students, industry representatives and academics.





This event is part of the University’s 30th Anniversary programs to promote sustainability by bringing together different environmental heroes in the HKUST community. 





Join the roundtable to explore:





  • Innovative ways to tackle Covid-19 related waste problems 

  • Industry trends in addressing circular economy 

  • Insights on building a more sustainable community





* This roundtable is endorsed by HLTH1010 Course office as the Wellness & Personal Enrichment event.




  • Mr Paul Tai
    Mr Paul Tai is the Regional Director - Far East of Mainetti Group, a leading global retail solutions provider.  Paul is also the founder of M-Care – a new vertical launched during the pandemic in 2020 for healthy and sustainable lifestyle consumer goods in the PPE market (Personal Protective Equipment).

    At Mainetti, he played and still maintains an important role in various major expansion and acquisition projects. He has managed to grow the company from a start-up to a regional company with more than ten operations in Korea, Shanghai, Suzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Australia and Japan.

    As his service to the community, Paul is leading and sponsoring various corporate and private social responsibility projects in Asia. With Paul’s leadership, Mainetti has completed two school rebuilding projects in the Mainland and contributed to causes benefiting underprivileged children in Mainland China and the Far East region. 

    Paul is a chartered accountant in the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore.  He has an MBA from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.  Paul received the Young Industrialist Award of Hong Kong from the Federation of Hong Kong Industries in 2012 and was elected as the President of the Council of 2021/22.


  • Miss Janice Wong
    Janice is currently working as a strategy analyst at HelloFresh UK in London, a global leader in meal-kit service. She has earned her MSc degree in Urban Agriculture and Green Cities at UniLaSalle in France in 2022 and BSc in Environmental Management and Technology from HKUST in 2019. With experience in the entrepreneurial and corporate scene in the environmental industry in Hong Kong, France and UK, she has led diverse projects regarding food system, sustainability, data analytics and innovative technology. On the side, she is currently building a seamless platform for high-end chefs to source from local farmers to cultivate a local food system. Her ultimate goal is to build cultural and eco-villages in rural areas in China with commercial linkages to urban areas.



    Miss Kavya Geetha Balaji

    Kavya is a final year Data Science and Technology student with a minor in Business. She is the co-founder of Mask But Not the Least with Inika Kandwal, a SSC awarded campus project that aims to repurpose disposed masks on campus in the form of daily-use products. During the course of the project they were successfully able to repurpose over 800 used masks on campus into 5 different composited and 4 finished stool prototypes. She is currently working at an e-commerce start-up that helps with shipping of products into Mainland China. 



    Miss Inika Kandwal

    Inika is a current 3rd-year Environmental Management and Technology student with a minor in Design. She co-founded Mask But Not The Least with Kavya Balaji, a SSC awarded campus project that aims to repurpose disposed used masks to campus-friendly products. The project successfully repurposed over 800 used masks on campus into 5 material composites, and 4 finished stool prototypes. She is currently on exchange at the University of Toronto, where she is pursuing environmental modules like Environmental Psychology, Social Media and Environmentalism, and Faith-based Environmentalism to enable effective sustainable development.

















  • Prof Davis Bookhart
    Davis Bookhart is Senior Manager and Head, HKUST Sustainability Unit. He joined HKUST in August, 2013 as senior manager and Head of the university’s Sustainability Unit to develop the university’s first comprehensive sustainability master plan (the HKUST 2020 Sustainability Challenge), which has since been incorporated into the university’s Five Year Strategic Plan. Focusing on the four key challenge areas – operations, education, demonstration, and community networks – Bookhart serves as the steward of the Plan’s implementation. He serves as secretariat for the Sustainable Smart Campus as a Living Lab initiative, is Chair of the Task Force on Sustainability Progress within the HK Sustainable Campus Consortium, was appointed to the Environment and Sustainability Committee for the HK General Chamber of Commerce, and serves as Advisory Board member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).




Event Format
30th Anniversary
Seminar, Lecture, Talk
Recommended For Alumni, Faculty and staff, General public, HKUST Family, PG students, UG students
More Information

Organizer Global Engagement & Greater China Affairs