October 21, 2022
HONG KONG – Three pieces of subsidiary legislation for enhancing the Plastic Shopping Bag Charging Scheme were passed by the Legislative Council on Wednesday.
The enhanced scheme will be implemented on Dec 31, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government said in a press release.
The subsidiary legislations amend the Product Eco-responsibility Ordinance and the Product Eco-responsibility (Plastic Shopping Bags) Regulation.
The enhancements include increasing the charging level per plastic shopping bag from the current level of at least 50 cents to at least HK$1, removing the present exemption for plastic shopping bags carrying frozen or chilled foodstuff items, and tightening the scope of exemption.
The government will introduce a bill into the LegCo in early 2023 to regulate disposable plastic tableware and other plastic products in phases, John Lee said in his Policy Address Wednesday
Tightening the scope of exemption is such that free plastic shopping bags can only be provided when purchasing foodstuff items without packaging or not wholly contained in any packaging, or food and beverage takeaway items in non-airtight packaging, the government said, adding that it will be subject to the basic principle of one free plastic shopping bag per single transaction.
The government will promote the scheme’s enhancements to the trade and the public and prepare a best practice guideline for the trade to understand the relevant requirements, the press release added.
The same day, Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said in his maiden Policy Address that the government will introduce a bill into the LegCo in early 2023 to regulate disposable plastic tableware and other plastic products in phases, starting from six months after the passage of the bill.
To promote waste reduction and recycling, the government will also explore legislation requiring major housing estates and single‑block buildings with a relatively large number of flats to collect separated recyclables and pass them to recyclers for processing. The SAR government will also build the first modern WtE incinerator near Shek Kwu Chau at full speed and plan the development of the second one in Tsang Tsui in Tuen Mun, he said.