Irresponsible hikers are being blamed for polluting a natural stream on Hong Kong’s Lantau Island with cooking oil and trash. A photo posted on social media showed the pollution in Wong Lung Stream, which is famous for its clear water and waterfall, Oriental Daily reported.
Reporters went to the stream on Sunday and found many hikers swimming there.
As shown in a video, a makeshift changing area and a water pipe for washing clothes and hair had been built nearby. Soap bubbles were seen floating along the stream.
Hikers told a reporter that they had set up a wood fire to cook seafood. Food residue and aluminum foil were found on the rocks after they left.
Netizens on social media criticized the selfish behavior of some hikers who had polluted the natural environment.
Leung Chi-hau, coach of the Mountaineering Council of Hong Kong, said it was illegal to barbecue or cook outside designated places in the city’s country parks, adding that food residue left without proper treatment was difficult to decompose.
He urged hikers to keep the country parks litter-free and to take their rubbish home.
According to the Country Park Ordinance, any person who lights or uses fire in the countryside illegally is liable to a fine of HK$25,000 (US$3,195) and a year in prison.