Hong Kong: Government Considers Plastic Bottles Deposit Scheme

According to “South China Morning Post”, a deposit scheme is considered to boost the incentive for Hong Kong citizens to recycle plastic bottles.

As reported, the government is also considering “actively collecting waste plastic bottles” from the community, “instead of relying on contractors who have long been reluctant to handle such waste due to its high processing costs”. Furthermore, an 18 month study is also underway to see if a “producer pays” scheme is needed to transfer the recycling costs to the manufacturer, similar to legislation tackling dumped glass bottles.

The main reason for this development is the tightening of waste imports by the Chinese mainland, which took effect on the first of January. According to the newspaper, this would greatly limit the scope of waste Hong Kong can ship away and hence force tons of unwanted recyclables into landfills. “A lack of sorting facilities in Hong Kong means nearly all waste plastic and paper is shipped across the border for further processing,” it said.

To ensure compliance with the mainland’s stricter import regulations, the government had revised its recycling strategy in December last year to focus on three types of paper (cardboard, newspaper and office paper) and two types of plastic (rinsed bottles for drinks and personal care products).