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"Clink, Drink then Recycle" programme to promote glass recycling (with photos)

     Newly launched by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD), the "Clink, Drink then Recycle" glass bottle recycling programme is being staged at 14 major shopping malls and commercial buildings (see Annex) starting this month to encourage restaurants and food premises located there to join glass bottle recycling. It can also promote the green culture of "use less, waste less" promulgated by the Hong Kong Blueprint for Sustainable Use of Resources 2013-2022.

     Officiating at the launch ceremony today (October 27), the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, said, "Among the 290 tonnes of waste glass bottles generated in Hong Kong every day, two-thirds are glass beverage bottles originating from commercial and industrial premises. The extension of glass bottle recycling network to restaurants and food premises can thus help enhance the effectiveness of our recycling efforts."

     At present, the EPD sets up glass bottle collection points mainly in housing estates and residential buildings to facilitate glass bottle recycling by members of the public. So far, there are over 1,200 household collection points over the territory, covering more than 70 per cent of Hong Kong's population. In addition, there are also projects organised by non-governmental organisations with funding support from the Environment and Conservation Fund, while the Sha Tin and Eastern Community Green Stations also provide glass bottle collection services. The launch of the "Clink, Drink then Recycle" glass recycling programme will further expand the scope of the recycling network in the community. Members of the public can make use of the "Waste Less" mobile applications to get information on more than 7,000 collections points of different kinds.

     The restaurants and food premises in these participating shopping malls and commercial buildings will help separate the waste glass bottles at source and store them centrally. The EPD's contractor will then deliver the collected glass bottles to competent local recyclers, who will turn them into glass sand as a substitute for river sand, which is used as an engineering material for the production of construction materials such as eco-pavers.

     Mr Wong added that a recycling programme must have a clear outlet to absorb the collected recyclable materials for turning waste into resources. The programme can help restaurant operators and their staff to learn more about glass bottle recycling, thus helping them to change their work practice and prepare for the future implementation of the Producer Responsibility Scheme (PRS) on glass beverage containers as well as municipal solid waste charging to achieve "waste less, pay less".

     The Promotion of Recycling and Proper Disposal (Product Container) (Amendment) Bill 2015, which was introduced to the Legislative Council (LegCo) by the Government in July this year, will soon be under scrutiny by the LegCo. Its key proposals include:

* The inclusion of product containers in the Producer Responsibility Scheme (PRS). At the first stage, the regulated articles would comprise only glass beverage containers;
* A recycling levy would be payable for the regulated articles that are distributed or consumed in Hong Kong to finance the implementation of the PRS;
* Manufacturers and importers engaged in the business of distributing regulated articles in Hong Kong would have to be registered as "registered suppliers" and, in accordance with the requirements, pay the recycling levy;
* The introduction of licensing control to the disposal (including storage, treatment, reprocessing and recycling) of prescribed container waste (i.e. waste glass containers); and
* Import and export of container waste would require a permit.

Ends/Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:25


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