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Sunday, Jul 25, 2021

Plastic bottle tax pushed to tackle curse

Plastic bottle tax pushed to tackle curse

The Environmental Association wants a 50 HK cents "plastic bottle tax" levied when people buy drinks in such containers.
The green group also suggests consumers pay a deposit of HK$1 when they buy drinks in plastic bottles. And they would only be refunded when they return a bottle for recycling.

The government launched a three-month public consultation last month on a "producer responsibility scheme" for plastic beverage containers.

Its outline ideas would require producers pay a levy of 50 to 65 HK cents for each bottle to fund recycling.

Authorities also proposed to offer 10 cents per plastic bottle to people who return drinking containers to encourage recycling.

The association argued yesterday it would be more effective to ask consumers to pay a levy rather than producers.

If producers paid the levy, it said, citizens may not realize it is their duty to reduce the use of plastic bottles.

And asking consumers to pay the levy would help suppress a taste for sugary drinks.

The group also suggested a deposit system instead of a rebate.

There were 327 people surveyed by the association and the University of Hong Kong's research division for ecology and biodiversity from May to June.

They found more than 60 percent of respondents supported a deposit system.

Association chief executive Yau Wing-kwong said more than six million plastic bottles are discarded every day, but less than 10 percent are recycled, so there was a massive demand for space in landfills.

And the 1.55 billion plastic bottles that go into landfills every year is the equivalent to 2,690 double-decker buses or an average of more than 200 bottles per person, according to government statistics.

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