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EPD holds working meeting with Ministry of Environmental Protection
     The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) today (February 12) said that a working meeting was held with the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) in Beijing yesterday (February 11) to exchange views on imports of recyclables to the Mainland. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, the General Administration of Customs and the State General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. All parties at the meeting agreed to maintain close liaison in future.

     At the meeting, the EPD gave an account of the latest developments of Hong Kong's recyclables market, and the related concerns of Hong Kong society and the recycling trade. As the Mainland will further tighten the purity requirements for importing recyclables starting March 1, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government has been actively undertaking preparatory work on various fronts for the implementation of the new requirements, including stepping up the promotion of sorting waste properly at source in the community to increase the quality of recyclables, subsidising recyclers to procure additional equipment with the support of the Recycling Fund, and publication of guidelines on best practices to enhance the operational level of the recycling trade. The EPD also briefed the attendees on the latest progress of the plan to develop a production line for recycled paper or paper material at the EcoPark, which includes the scheduled public tendering of suitable land in the EcoPark in the first half of 2018.

     The MEP gave a briefing on the implementation of the Mainland's policies on the management of solid waste imports. Regarding waste paper, as at early February this year, five batches of quotas for importing waste paper were already issued, amounting to a total of around 4.6 million tonnes. With reference to relevant records and projections from the actual quantity of imports, currently there are still sufficient quotas for Mainland enterprises that have imported waste paper from the HKSAR before to import waste paper from places outside the Mainland. Enterprises whose businesses are legally compliant are eligible to apply for import quotas multiple times this year, and the MEP will continue to approve the applications in batches. The list of the sixth batch of quotas has been publicised and the quotas are expected to be issued shortly.
     In addition, as large quantities of waste materials and recyclables are usually generated by members of the public and shop owners near the Chinese New Year, an EPD spokesman reminded the public to properly handle the waste materials and recyclables generated. Depending on the circumstances, enforcement action will be taken by relevant government departments to combat illegal dumping of waste materials on streets.
Ends/Monday, February 12, 2018
Issued at HKT 19:10
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