The Environment Bureau today (May 20) unveiled "Hong Kong: Blueprint for Sustainable Use of Resources 2013-2022", which analyses the challenges and opportunities of waste management in Hong Kong, and maps out a comprehensive strategy, targets, policies and action plans for waste management for the coming 10 years with a view to tackling the waste crisis in Hong Kong.
Speaking at the press conference on the blueprint for sustainable use of resources, the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, said, "To face the challenges of the waste issue fundamentally, we need the joint efforts of the entire community to embrace an environmentally sustainable culture in daily life, and to use less and waste less of the Earth's resources. We aim to reduce the per capita disposal rate of municipal solid waste by 40 per cent by 2022."
To achieve this goal, the blueprint proposes policies and actions in three areas. Firstly, the Government will undertake multiple and concurrent actions to drive behavioural change to reduce waste at source through policies and legislation, including municipal solid waste charging and producer responsibility schemes. Secondly, the Government will roll out targeted territory-wide waste reduction campaigns, such as those on food waste reduction and glass beverage bottle recycling. Thirdly, the Government will allocate resources to enhance waste-related infrastructure, including organic waste treatment facilities, waste-to-energy integrated waste management facilities and landfill extensions.
Support and participation from members of the public and different trades is key to achieving the targets of the blueprint. On waste reduction in particular, the support of the community for various policies, compliance and measures is of utmost importance to their effectiveness.
Mr Wong said that the greatest challenge we are facing now is our large per capita waste load with our incomplete infrastructure. The blueprint focuses on our core problems and outlines a comprehensive waste management strategy covering mid- to long-term goals, concrete actions and a timetable, demonstrating the Government's determination in tackling our waste management problem.
"The blueprint tackles waste problems from a resource re-circulation perspective. As part of waste reduction, we encourage the public to reuse and recycle. Unavoidable waste will be turned into energy by modern technology while disposal at landfills will be the last resort. Under this framework, waste management in Hong Kong will have a more balanced structure.
"We expect that by 2022, waste recycling, modern incineration and landfill disposal in Hong Kong will account for 55 per cent, 23 per cent and 22 per cent respectively. This allocation would be closer to the widely adopted waste management structure in the advanced economies, transforming our current practice, which relies solely on landfills for end-of-pipe treatment," stressed Mr Wong.
The waste problem is a phenomenal challenge in the area of environmental protection in Hong Kong. The issue has been discussed over the years, and action is needed without further delay. The Government is taking the lead to put forward the blueprint, and the participation and support of the entire community is needed to make changes.
"Hong Kong: Blueprint for Sustainable Use of Resources 2013-2022" is available on the websites of the Environment Bureau (www.enb.gov.hk) and the Environmental Protection Department (www.epd.gov.hk).
Ends/Monday, May 20, 2013
Issued at HKT 17:05