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Friends of the Earth (HK) Response to the Policy Address

 

(15 January 2014, press release) Friends of the Earth (HK) (‘FoE(HK)’) welcomes the proposed waste management measures in the policy address, but feels the relevant scope is rather limited. By not focusing on core issues like food waste and waste recycling, it will be easily misunderstood by the public that the government has no determination or ability to tackle the waste problem.

 

Though the Chief Executive reiterated in his policy address that environmental protection is one of his focuses, this address feels lacking in comparison to last year’s 10 billion fund to phase out old diesel vehicles. Although he did mention waste recycling, ship emissions and other measures, none were current topics. In addition they were quite minor and did not address the core issues.

 

What is noteworthy was when the Chief Executive stressed that ‘being homeless’ was an unacceptable answer and proposed the solution is to continue to develop new land. He then read out a chapter, in which it alluded to the need for land reclamation, wasteland development and more. This raises concerns whether the disputes in land reclamation and country parks will continue to escalate.

 

In addition, the policy address mentioned the development of environmental facilities in reclaimed landfills. FoE(HK) believes that regardless using reclaimed landfills or building recycling centers in the 18 districts, both will promote the message of waste reduction and recycling, which in turn will help push waste charging and waste recovery process. However, the support of the District Councils is needed to successfully launch recycling centers in their respective districts. FoE(HK) urges all District Councils to face the waste crisis together and become a district model to promote waste reduction and recycling.

 

In addition, FoE(HK) is disappointed that the government has yet to announce the details on the blueprint for food waste management and policies to support recycling.

 

As for the Chief Executive’s express support for the 3rd runway, FoE(HK) believes he should withhold his endorsement when the environmental impact assessment have not yet been passed and the carbon audit not complete.

 

Media Enquires:

Friends of the Earth (HK) Senior Environmental Affairs Officer Frances Yeung (Waste)                  2528 5588

Friends of the Earth (HK) Environmental Affairs Officer Celia Fung (Waste)                                      2528 5588

Friends of the Earth (HK) Senior Environmental Affairs Officer Melonie Chau (3rd Runway & Air) 2528 5588


 



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