Transcript of remarks by SEN

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, on Government action in response to the suspension of waste paper collection by some recyclers at a media session at Central Government Offices, Tamar, today (September 15):

Reporter: Secretary, do you think the recycling facilities you mentioned are enough to hold the waste paper in the coming week. Secondly, you said the Government talked to the Mainland counterparts about the situation, when can we expect the result?

Secretary for the Environment: Firstly, as announced by the concerned recyclers, the temporary withholding of the collection of recyclables would be a few days. So I think the temporary provision (of storage places) jointly provided by the EPD (Environmental Protection Department) and the FEHD (Food and Environmental Hygiene Department) should be able to cope with the situation. Regarding the Mainland's response, I think we should wait and see.

Reporter: Secretary, what will the Government do if the Mainland department continues to refuse to give the permit for importing the waste paper?

Secretary for the Environment: We should see the situation step by step. Firstly, at this juncture, the concerned recyclers will suspend the waste paper recycling for a week. So the Government, through inter-departmental support, would have temporary measures to cope with the situation, with a view to minimising the adverse impact on society. At the same time, I understand that there are still quotas held by some recyclers to transport the waste paper to the Mainland. There are different recyclers looking for other export channels to southeast Asia. So there are different ways to mitigate the situation for the time being. At the same time, I think the Government will have a closer dialogue with the Mainland authorities so that we can have a better understanding about the situation. 

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Friday, September 15, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:10