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Environmental protection needs community support

    The challenge of municipal solid waste management would be to build community consensus and support in sharing the costs and adopting environmentally friendly processes and living habits, the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Rafael Hui, said today (September 1).

     Speaking at a seminar on Municipal Solid Waste Control Strategy and Technologies, Mr Hui said the community had to adopt production processes and living style and habits that would help minimise environmental impact.
     "Every one of us must be responsible for what we produce, supply, consume and dispose of. And every one in the community has to share the treatment and mitigation costs," Mr Hui stressed.

     "The business sector should design products that will generate less waste and facilitate recycling. As individuals, we should pause and reconsider our consumption-driven lifestyle and adopt good environmental habits," Mr Hui said.

     "Disposal of solid waste is a big challenge for us. If we do not take action to reduce waste, our landfills will be full in five to nine years," Mr Hui said.

     The Government last year published a policy framework for the Management of Municipal Solid Waste, which set out a comprehensive strategy for municipal solid waste management over the next decade and marked the start of a new process to attain sustainable waste management.

     Mr Hui said the Government would continue to enhance the publicity and educational programmes so that everyone could understand the nature of the problem, the solutions available, and the price to be paid for a cleaner living environment.

     Some waste reduction measures will inevitably cause short-term inconvenience to some segments of the public, or lead to increased costs for other sectors.

     "I hope our legislators can rally to the cause and join the Government in making difficult decisions for the sake of the environment," Mr Hui said.

     "A vote in the Legislative Council for environmental legislation and measures is a vote for the future environment of your children and those who elect you," Legislative Council Members attending the seminar were told.

Ends/Friday, September 1, 2006
Issued at HKT 11:14