Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Levy on beverage glass bottles? A step closer to an ideal waste management system

According to statistics, 2%, 153 tonnes, of the 9,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) is wasted beverage glass bottles. To reduce the burden to landfill, such regulations and levy to glass bottles should be carried out immediately.
From instances of our neighboring countries, such as Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, all of them have introduced such charging scheme to regulate wasted glass bottles since the 1990s. In most of the cases, glass bottle manufacturers have to paid a certain amount of recycling fee, which will then contribute to wasted glass recycling industry

To tackle this, the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department has launched a consultation at the beginning of this year. Further, the Legislative Council Panel on Environmental Affairs has also discussed on the matter and gathered different views of the respective feasibility, possibility and potential positive and negative impact to the recycling industry as well as the catering, food and beverage industry. In this preliminary stage, supports are found from most of the stakeholders groups. However, since the consultation is still in progress (to May 6, 2013), the details of implementation plan are still subject of great controversy.
Different stakeholders have different positions and views, which there are still a lot of rooms of discussion, such as the type of glass bottles to be charged, the number of recycling contractors to be hired, the actual price of levy, who should share the cost, and whether a landfill ban should be applied, etc. We need to determine a proper plan and the corresponding supporting facilities and equipments to support and assist in the implementation. On one hand, to maintain the balance of various stakeholders, on the other hand, to ensure an the recyclable glass bottles are treated or reused properly and sustainably
Though the public awareness of waste reduction is graduallyincreasing, education still ranks amongst highest in priority.

The consultation period will end in May 6, 2013, for specific details, please visit the EPD website:

Please click here to download the response form and send back to: