Friends of the Earth (HK) Response to the Waste Disposal (Charging for Municipal Solid Waste) (Amendment) Bill 2018 - Holistic Policy is Needed to Complement MSW Charging Scheme
Sixteen years—after 16 years, Hong Kong will make polluters pay for their fair share as the Legislative Council passes the Waste Disposal (Charging for Municipal Solid Waste) (Amendment) Bill 2018. Friends of the Earth (HK) most certainly welcomes the passing of this bill and Hong Kong taking the first steps to join the global cities.
However, Friends of the Earth (HK) voices our opposition towards the 18-month preparatory period. Hong Kong has
more than a decade to prepare, and the majority is ready for it. Delaying its
implementation for any reason is unfair to Hong Kong citizens who have to
continue to subsidise big wasters.
Hong Kong deserves to have
a government with green leadership pushing for a sustainable circular economy. Friends
of the Earth (HK) urges the government to clearly set the implementation date
and to not use the pandemic or the economy as excuses to delay waste charging
At the same time, it should strengthen the
following aspects to support the municipal solid waste charging scheme:
- Support the development of the
local recycling industry: The government needs to
provide sufficient avenues for households to practice waste separation and
ensure the back-end can actually process recyclable waste.
- Build confidence in waste
separation bins: Accessibility and maintenance
of public waste separation bins should be enhanced to build public
- Set up a whistleblower system: The government should set up a reward scheme to encourage
whistleblowing on illegal dumping and deter potential fly-tippers.
- Implement producer
responsibility schemes: Accompanying producer
responsibility schemes for plastics and packaging materials should be
quickly implemented to encourage more sustainable product designs and
accountability from manufacturers and retailers.