Govt says HK people regard waste charging scheme a nuisance

 

It’s bothersome to have to buy the designated trash bags, say people in survey

In a signal that the planned implementation of the
waste charging scheme may not go ahead as scheduled, a government official today
said most people think the plan is a nuisance.

Secretary for Environment and Ecology Tse Chin-wan said
on a television program that about half of the people surveyed at an ongoing trial
run in 14  locations this month said it
was a bother having to pay for the rubbish bags that they must use in disposing
of their waste.

“A few residents reflected that it’s good to do
waste separation and reduction. But a majority of them thought it’s causing
nuisance to the public because they have to pay for rubbish bags,” Tse
said.

He added it remains to be seen if the planned
implementation of the scheme on August 1 will go ahead as planned.

The trial run which began from this month covered 14
locations, including both public and private residential blocks, a government
office block, shopping centers, care homes and restaurant.

The government plans to gather feedback from the
testing sites ahead of the mandatory implementation of the law on August 1.

Under the so-called Waste Charging Scheme, all
rubbish generated by residential and non-residential premises, including
commercial and industrial buildings, will incur charges based on the amount of
waste disposed of.

This will be made possible by requiring all
households and businesses to use designated bags or labels (for bigger pieces
of trash) when disposing of their rubbish.

But while the twice-delayed scheme faces a further
delay, the first phase of the ban on plastic tableware will go ahead as
scheduled on Monday. From this day, restaurants will be barred from selling and
using styrofoam products and disposable plastic utensils, straws, plastic cups
and boxes.

Tse said it takes time for people to get used to
tableware made of different materials, including wood, which he said is
actually more durable than plastic.

But he hinted the six-month grace period for the ban
may be extended to allow restaurants and suppliers additional time to deplete
their existing stocks of plastic products.

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