Finish what's on your plate or ...

Most restaurants charge customers for what they eat. But restaurateurs in some of Hong Kong's all-you-can-eat 'hot pot' and sushi joints apparently have some up with a different idea, one aimed at reducing food waste. Read on to find out more.

Some restaurant industry professionals believe we will see more technology solutions for reducing restaurant food waste (see story above about the BioX machine). Well, things may already be at the extreme in Hong Kong.

Perhaps you remember your mother telling you as a child that you should eat everything on your plate because children other parts of the world were starving. Now, there's an even better reason in some Hong Kong restaurants. If you don't eat everything on your plate, they will fine you. Yes, that's right. They make you pay extra. At some of the all-you-can-eat 'hot pot' and sushi joints, the restaurateurs are fining customers who put too much on their plates and then don't eat it. One hot pot restaurant charges 64 cents per ounce of leftovers and one sushi restaurant charges $1.28 per piece of leftover sushi.

This has all come about because of Hong Kong's serious landfill problem. In the past five years the amount of food wasted by Hong Kong's restaurants, hotels and food manufacturers has more than doubled. Food now accounts for one-third of the 9,300 tons of waste sent to landfills each day. In the U.S. it represents only 12% of waste. Not only are landfills filling up, but the rotting food in the landfill gives off methane, one of the most notorious of greenhouse gases, and this contributes to Hong Kong's serious smog problem.