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June 6th, 2013:

Bei Cough Jing

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· A variety of masks are selling big online in China. Photos: AP, Reuters

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A policeman wears mask on a windy and dusty day at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Photo: SCMP/Simon Song

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This combo photos show tourists wearing different masks at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on January 30, 2013. Photo: SCMP/Simon Song

South China Morning Post

Published on South China Morning Post (

Home > Fashion-forward face masks a big hit in China amid soaring air pollution

Fashion-forward face masks a big hit in China amid soaring air pollution

Thursday, 06 June, 2013, 11:22am


Wu Nan in Beijing

China’s worsening air pollution has had a surprising and unexpected consequence – fashionable face masks.

A trend has sprung up among people who want to look good while trying to avoid the smog. Face masks are now an accessory and are matched according to the weather, sport or outdoor activity.

When the air is bad, people who don’t wear masks are like ET

They are so commonplace that it is unusual when someone is outside without the protection. “When the air is bad, people who don’t wear masks are like ET,” Chen Dawei said.

Chen, 35, is a sporty Beijing-based designer and writer who has been cycling intensively since 2008. He regularly wears masks when he trains, picking several brands based on their function.

“My masks have to be professional,” he said.

Respro is best for cycling, because it can filter both PM2.5 [particles] and vehicle exhaust. Totobobo is breathable and light so it’s good for running; 3M9010 is good for outdoor family activities,” he said.

Like most people in China, Chen used to wear masks only when outdoors, but after learning about the effects of PM2.5 he did research and invested in masks that could offer more protection. policeman wears mask on a windy and dusty day at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Photo: SCMP/Simon Song [1]

PM, short for particulate matter, is the term for particles found in the air including dust, dirt, soot, smoke and liquid droplets. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), particles smaller than 2.5 micrometres in diameter, PM2.5, can be inhaled and absorbed into the gas exchange regions of the lung, endangering the respiratory system.

According to EPA guidelines, air quality is considered unhealthy if the average concentration of the PM2.5 particles is more than 100 micrograms per cubic metre.

Beijing’s municipal government pledged in February to reach EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards by 2030, aiming to reduce PM2.5 concentrations to 35 micrograms per cubic metre. PM2.5 levels soared higher [2] than 500 micrograms per cubic metre earlier this year.

However, China’s other provincial capitals and municipalities started monitoring PM2.5 concentration only last year. Just this week the Ministry of Environmental Protection said that only one quarter of 113 major cities [3] last year recorded air quality that was deemed safe to breathe. is covered in haze in January. Photo: Reuters [4]

The poor air quality has led to huge sales of face masks., China’s largest online retailer, has sold hundreds of thousands of masks since last year, most of which are designed to protect against PM2.5.

“3M8210 are our best sellers. Around this [year’s] Spring Festival, we had over 10,000 masks sold within weeks,” said Xiao Lu, a saleswoman at Panfeng Househould Products.

Panfeng is a leading online retailer on, a spin-off from She said she had noticed that fewer masks were sold during the summer months.

“Only a few thousands masks are sold each month,” she said. “Obviously, the air becomes better compared to this winter.”

She has also found that the fashion aspect matters to customers, too.

“Young people tend to like bright colours. Men prefer blue or black masks. Right now, UV proof masks are popular.”

The most important factor for customers, she said, is whether the mask is practical and comfortable. Some invest in masks with the most cutting-edge technology, such as ones with activated carbon.

Young people tend to like bright colours. Men prefer blue or black masks. Right now, UV proof masks are popular

Price matters too, with the majority of customers opting to buy the cheapest masks. For example, on one 3M8210 mask costs on average about 2 yuan (HK$2.50).

“I think in the end, only practical masks will last a long time,” said Wu Wenxi, 28, a private seller of a popular brand of activated carbon masks, which she sells for 0.5 yuan each.

She said her shop had sold N95 masks since 2003, when Sars hit China. “When Sars went away, sales of masks fell,” she said. “Now more types of masks have come out because of PM2.5.”

Every day she checks the PM2.5 report to decide whether she should wear a mask that day. “You’ve got to wear one if the PM2.5 number is above 200,” she said.

Sometimes PM2.5 reports from different sources can be confusing, she said. “Foreign sources tend to report higher PM2.5 numbers compared to domestic sources. I feel safer referring to a higher number and wear a mask.” combo photos show tourists wearing different masks at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on January 30, 2013. Photo: SCMP/Simon Song [5]

Some people refuse to wear cheap masks. Rena, 29, spends 200 yuan on her Totobobo mask, 100 times more than a popular activated carbon mask.

An Uygur girl from Urumqi, Xinjiang province, Rena has enjoyed living and working in Beijing for the last nine years in a white-collar job.

She admitted she was concerned about the air quality. “Going back to Urumqi means less job opportunities and the air is not necessarily better,” she said. “Staying in Beijing means wearing a mask most days. It’s not very comfortable.”

Worse still, many people can be taken aback by the shape of the Totobobo mask.

“It’s like having fish gills on my face. I can see why people give me strange looks,” she said. Her solution is to put a normal medical mask on top of her other mask.

“But I can’t cover my face forever,” she said. “I’d prefer to live in a cleaner environment.”

Like Rena, mask enthusiast Chen is making plans for the future, too. Although he has several professional masks that are appropriate for most types of weather, he dreams of mask-free days, perhaps in another place.

“Europe could be an ideal place to live,” he said.


Air pollution in China

Face masks


Air Pollution

More on this:

‘Growth first’ mentality undermines China’s war on pollution [6]

Fewer than one in four main cities in China have safe air [3]

Source URL (retrieved on Jun 6th 2013, 6:47pm):


Stanley Ho’s Shun Tak buys into Qantas’ Jetstar Hong Kong joint venture

Thursday, 06 June, 2013, 10:52am



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(From left) Jetstar chief executive Bruce Buchanan, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce and China Eastern Airlines chairman Liu Shaoyong. Photo: Sam Tsang

Reuters in Hong Kong

Qantas Airways and China Eastern Airlines have sold a US$66 million stake in their budget airline joint venture to a Hong Kong-listed company, a move expected to pave the way for an operating licence.

Property-to-transport conglomerate Shun Tak Holdings, founded by Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho, will take 33.3 per cent of Jetstar Hong Kong, which was launched last year but is still awaiting approval for its air operator’s certificate.

Partnering with a well-connected Hong Kong investor could help Qantas and China Eastern, which had targeted a launch date of mid-this year, allay regulatory concerns over whether Jetstar Hong Kong fits the criteria of being a local business, according to local media reports.

The new tie-up means Qantas, Australia’s flagship airline, China Eastern, the country’s No 2 airline by market value, and Shun Tak will each hold 33.3 per cent of Jetstar Hong Kong, which will have total capitalisation of US$198 million.

China Eastern and Shun Tak also said in statements the venture’s initial fleet plan comprised the acquisition or leasing, or both, of 18 Airbus A320s over the first three years of operation. The purchase of 18 Airbus A320s carries a catalogue price of US$1.65 billion.

The joint venture will give Qantas access to the fast-growing Chinese market and will look after China Eastern’s aspirations in the low-cost sector.

The business aims to tap rising demand not just from Hong Kong, which caters to around 40 million passengers a year, but also from greater China – a market that Qantas has said is set to see 450 million passengers by 2015.


Shun Tak Holdings

Qantas Airways

China Eastern Airlines

Jetstar Hong Kong

Panel EA visit to Korea – some glaring information omissions


Panel on Environmental Affairs

Dear Hon Members,

I refer to the briefing papers / fact sheets provided by the Administration for your recent visit to Korea.

Please find at attachment herewith highly relevant information which the Administration conveniently omitted from their briefing papers.

Kind regards,

James Middleton


We all breathe the same air don’t pollute it further

Panel on Environmental Affairs
Duty visit from 1 to 5 April 2013

The Legislative Council Panel on Environmental Affairs conducted a 5-day overseas duty visit to Seoul, Republic of Korea, from 1 to 5 April 2013. The purpose of the visit was for Members to study the experience of the Republic of Korea in various aspects of waste management, including waste reduction, waste recycling and treatment infrastructure.

The delegation was led by Hon Cyd HO Sau-lan, Chairman of the Panel on Environmental Affairs, and comprises 16 other members: Hon Christopher CHUNG Shu-kun (Deputy Chairman of the Panel on Environmental Affairs), Hon Vincent FANG Kang, Hon CHAN Hak-kan, Hon CHAN Kin-por, Hon Claudia MO, Hon Gary FAN Kwok-wai, Hon Charles Peter MOK, Hon KWOK Wai-keung, Dr Hon Helena WONG Pik-wan, Dr Hon Elizabeth QUAT and Hon Tony TSE Wai-chuen (Panel members), as well as Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing, Hon Tommy CHEUNG Yu-yan, Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee, Hon Paul TSE Wai-chun and Hon WONG Yuk-man (non-Panel Members).

Information Papers

Power-point presentation materials on the exhibition on the “Panel on Environmental Affairs’ Overseas Duty Visit to the Republic of Korea” prepared by the Legislative Council Secretariat

Download PDF :



impact waste management singapore

DIOXIN AND FURAN INVENTORIES National and Regional Emissions of PCDD/PCDF

Download PDF : difurpt

School places plea likely to get a fail

Height of Incompetence

Edward Yau Tang Wah and Michael Suen Ming Yeung should be charged with misconduct in public office for their failure to do their jobs during their tenure.

Why would people come here with families ?

Increased roadside pollution during Yau’s tenure, no ECA controls on our major polluter- ocean going vessels high sulphur fuel, no international school place planning.

(sure, great to have an expensive place in Tuen Mun when you live in Aberdeen and speak no Cantonese)

School places plea likely to get a fail

International schools are being urged to raise the maximum number of students to a class to ease a shortage of places.

Eddie Luk

Thursday, June 06, 2013

International schools are being urged to raise the maximum number of students to a class to ease a shortage of places.

But the Education Bureau call appears likely to fall on deaf ears.

Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim told lawmakers yesterday that because of the expansion of the business community there will be an increase in students arriving from overseas with their families.

Taken with local demand, he said, it means increased pressure on international schools for at least five years.

International schools also need to reserve places for youngsters who arrive perhaps at short notice because their parents are relocated to Hong Kong.

Among current predictions, Ng added, there will be a shortage of at least 4,200 primary places in international schools in 2016-17.

Saying that about 14 percent of places are currently occupied by local students, Ng said the Education Bureau recently wrote to international schools “appealing to them to utilize the maximum class size to ensure effective use of land resources and premises and to accord higher priority to children from overseas families who come to Hong Kong with their parents.”

He added: “We also suggest international schools consider devising an allocation mechanism such as a certain proportion of places being earmarked for children whose parents are recruited or relocated from outside Hong Kong.”

The English Schools Foundation was lukewarm to the calls.

A spokeswoman noted that the ESF does not admit students based on nationality, and the current level of 30 students to a class is appropriate.

The foundation will also continue to base admissions on English proficiency and parents’ commitment to a school.

Karin Ann, founder of the International Montessori School in Hong Kong, said the current class size is 25 and is likely to stay that way.

The school will also carry on enrolling students of various nationalities to serve a diverse community.

Earlier, the government revealed that three vacant school premises will go to international outfits, with 1,700 places.

A site in Stanley has been granted to the International Montessori School, which will expand from its base in Tin Hau, while Jewish school Carmel is going to take over a site at Shau Kei Wan.

British group Nord Anglia Education will establish its first school in Hong Kong at a campus in Lam Tin.

30m Gallon Facility to Produce Aviation Biofuels from Waste for United Airlines

30m Gallon Facility to Produce Aviation Biofuels from Waste for United Airlines

6 June 2013

By Ben Messenger
Managing Editor

30m Gallon Facility to Produce Aviation Biofuels from Waste for United Airlines

Seattle, Washington based low carbon sustainable fuel and chemicals specialist, AltAir Fuels has received a definitive purchase agreement from United Airlines (NYSE: UAL) for cost-competitive, advanced biofuels which are to be produced from agricultural wastes and non-edible natural oils at a retooled refinery in California.

(Free webcast available now – Accelerating Biofuels: Waste Gasification to Aviation and Transport Fuels in the UK and US/Canada)

According to the airline, as part of its strategic partnership AltAir Fuels will retrofit part an existing petroleum refinery to become a 30 million gallon (1.14 million litre), advanced biofuel refinery near Los Angeles.

United added that it has collaborated with AltAir Fuels since 2009 and has agreed to buy 15 million gallons (57 million litres) of lower-carbon, renewable jet fuel over a three-year period, with the option to purchase more.

Beginning in 2014 AltAir is expected to begin delivering five million gallons (19 million litres) of renewable jet fuel each year to United, which will use it on flights operating out of its Los Angeles hub (LAX).

The airline said that it is purchasing the advanced biofuel at a price competitive with traditional, petroleum-based jet fuel.


AltAir has partnered with an existing oil refiner for the operation of its first commercial facility and will use the refiner’s existing refinery near Los Angeles.

According to United, thanks to its partnership with AltAir idle refining equipment will be retooled using process technology developed by refining technology supplier and licensor, Honeywell’s UOP.

AltAir has previously worked with Honeywell’s UOP to demonstrate the commercial viability of the Honeywell Green Jet process, which it has licensed.

According to Honeywell UOP its Green Jet process was developed under a grant from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, now the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency-Energy, and is a feedstock flexible solution that converts a wide range of sustainable feedstocks li into high-quality, on-spec renewable jet fuel.

The process is based on traditional refining hydroprocessing technology, and works by adding hydrogen to remove the oxygen from the feedstock and then further refining the product to meet the required specifications.

The process produces a bio-synthetic paraffinic kerosene (bio-SPK) or Green Jet Fuel that is then blended with standard jet fuel for use in flight. The resulting fuel meets all of the jet fuel specifications set by qualifying agencies.

According to United Airlines, once operational the facility will be the first refinery in the world capable of the in-line production of both renewable jet and diesel fuels.

Read More

Free Webcast – Accelerating Waste to Fuels: A Commercial and Viable Solution?
Trial projects have successfully converted municipal solid waste into a useable, second generation biofuel. Commercialization is now in full swing with the UK, US and Canada leading the way. Watch WMW’s free on-demand webcast to find out more! Speakers from NNFCC, Solena Fuels and Enerkem

Airbus & Air Canada Explore Waste Based Aviation Biofuels
Air Canada and Airbus have signed an agreement with BioFuelNet to help them find the most promising biofuels for aviation, and will research biofuels made using municipal solid waste and agricultural and forestry waste as feedstocks.

Fulcrum to Develop Aviation Biofuels from Waste with DoD Grant
Pleasanton, California based waste to biofuel specialist, Fulcrum BioEnergy, has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop renewable ‘drop in’ aviation biofuels.

Drop In Biofuels from Waste Research Project Launched
Montreal, Canada based waste to biofuels and renewable chemicals specialist, Enerkem has launched a new research project to convert waste into ‘drop in’ biofuels with the Canadian government.