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Transcript of remarks by SEN (with photos)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, on the Food Wise Hong Kong Campaign, municipal solid waste charging and other waste management initiatives after attending the first meeting of the Food Wise Hong Kong Steering Committee this afternoon (December 6) (English portion):

Secretary for the Environment: Today is the first meeting of the Food Wise Hong Kong Steering Committee. The meeting is very positive. Members are very supportive to the initiatives. As you know, members comprise people from the private sector, and also from different government bureaux and departments. Today, we have set up two working groups. One is on campaign, education and publicity, and the other is on commercial and industrial best practice. The first one is focusing on individuals and families, so that they can have behavioural change to support food waste reduction. The second one will be focusing on commercial and industrial sectors, how they can share best practices so that through their operation they can reduce food waste. Overall, we would like to set the target, so that we can, within a few years, reduce pressure on landfills.

Reporter: Mr Wong, could you tell us about the target of food wasteˇK, and without penalties, do you think the measures will still be effective?

Secretary for the Environment: In the Committee's meeting, members are actually proposing that through the collaboration between the government and the private sector, they may consider certain incentives that can attract or encourage the stakeholders and the food industries to go for food waste reduction. So, probably that would be the first step. Regarding the target, we are making reference to overseas cases, say in Northern London, they are pretty successful and could achieve the reduction by over 10 per cent. This could be a reference for Hong Kong. Through these sub-committees, we will consider the overseas target and make our own target for Hong Kong.

Reporter: Will there be any progress or timeline for charging domestic food waste?

Secretary for the Environment: On MSW (municipal solid waste) charging, our schedule is that we will report the interim progress to the LegCo within this year. We are going to confirm with the SDC (Council for Sustainable Development) that we will have the full-fledged public engagement in the coming year so that we will get the feedback by the end of next year. Then probably if the supportive comments are collected, we can go to the LegCo for the implementation. But it will take years to implement the law, and so probably the earliest by 2016.

Reporter: How long will it take to come up with ˇK?

Secretary for the Environment: On the Food Wise Campaign Committee, we would like to catch up and the sub-committees would have meetings shortly after the New Year. For the Steering Committee, we will have our second meeting probably after the Lunar New Year. That means around February (next year), we will have our second meeting to consider the proposals from the two sub-committees.

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

Ends/Thursday, December 6, 2012
Issued at HKT 20:01


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