Established in 2019, Green Paws is a Hong Kong company that recycles wooden pallets previously used by logistics companies and transforms them into environmentally-friendly cat litter.
It is estimated that in 2020, an average of 345 tonnes of wood were dumped into the landfills of Hong Kong every day (Environment Protection Department, 2021). This includes waste wood used in construction work and, most commonly, wooden pallets used in the logistic industry. Such a waste of wood leads to a squander of reusable materials as well as harm to the environment. It can take 20 to 100 years for a tree to mature, but these wooden products are disposed of soon after one-time consumption. Also, wood is an excellent carbon sink, as a cubic metre of wood can absorb one ton of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (BBC, 2019). However, the carbon dioxide stored in the wood will be released back to the atmosphere when it is decomposed. Therefore, the decomposition of large amount of wood in the landfills of Hong Kong every day has contributed to enormous carbon emissions.
Green Paws mainly recycles wooden pallets that are in good condition but are to be disposed of at the landfills. The company first selects wooden pallets that are purely composed of wood and nails for further processing. The nails on the wooden pallets are first removed. The wood is then broken down into small pieces, dried, and sterilized in high temperature. After removing the dust produced, the wood pieces are compressed into wood pellets by high pressure instead of any chemicals. Green Paws ensures that the dust and metal is removed from the cat litter by strict quality check. As non-clumping litter, the cat litter produced by Green Paws can be flushed away in the toilet, so it is clean and convenient to use. The cat litter can also be used by other pets, like parrots, rabbits and hamsters. The company also frequently donates cat litter to groups taking care of stray cats. In 2020, Green Paws even expanded its scope of business in producing wood pellets for horse bedding. The product has been well-received by horse owners in Macau, and Green Paws has also sought support from the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
Green Paws recycles about 5-10 tonnes of wooden pallets every day, in which each tonne of wooden pallets can produce up to 900 kilograms of cat litter. As a company focusing on recycling waste, Green Paws strives to cooperate with more retail and logistics enterprises to recycle more wooden pallets. Its long-term partners include Swire Coca Cola and DCH Logistics Company. Green Paws has been well-recognized in Hong Kong. They were invited to share its vision and efforts of the Hong Kong recycling industry in the Eco Expo Asia 2021 and at an online event held by Green Peace Hong Kong in May 2021. Also, the company was one of the awardees of the Hong Kong Emerging Brand 2020 co-organized by the Hong Kong Brand Development and the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong. It was also a winner of the “Outstanding Creative Eco-friendly Product Election” of The Peak 2021 (JCI Hong Kong, 2021). Green Paws was also awarded Grand Award in Renewable Energy Award 2021 by CLP Hong Kong.
BBC. (2019, July 25). Could wooden buildings be a solution to climate change? Retrieved at: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190717-climate-change-wooden-architecture-concrete-global-warming.
Environmental Protection Department. (2021). Monitoring of Solid Waste in Hong Kong – Waste Statistics for 2020. Retrieved at: https://www.wastereduction.gov.hk/sites/default/files/msw2020.pdf.
JCI Hong Kong. (2021). The Peak 2021 - “Appreciation” for the Earth: Outstanding Creative Eco-friendly Product Election [The Peak 2021 - 為地球設「賞」：傑出創意環保產品選舉]. Retrieved at: https://jcitps.org.hk/thepeak2021-details/.