EPD's arrangement on beverage carton recycling
The EPD has along been encouraging the recycling of waste paper and beverage cartons. In terms of policies and resources, the department has supported and actively promoted the adoption of commercial market principles by relevant operators, so as to achieve an open, fair and sustainable development of the recycling industry. On the SSID in Yuen Long InnoPark, as stated in the EPD's press release issued on September 27, the Recycling Fund had subsidised its operation on multiple occasions. The EPD's community recycling network GREEN@COMMUNITY also handed over the collected beverage cartons to SSID for processing over the past two years.
The EPD has already made long-term planning and arrangements on the recycling of beverage cartons in Hong Kong. It started in 2020 to plan the building of a large-scale modern pulping facility in EcoPark, Tuen Mun which was successfully tendered in 2022. The pulping facility is expected to commence operation in 2025 and by then, Hong Kong will possess the recycling capacity to process all locally-collected beverage cartons.
Noting that the tenancy period of SSID in Yuen Long InnoPark is about to end, the EPD has immediately liaised closely with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and learned that the HKSTP has been providing assistance to SSID by being as flexible as possible in the lease extension. The EPD also contacted SSID's person-in-charge and provided him with the information on three short-term tenancy sites that are exclusively used by the recycling industry and will be open for tender, and the lots in EcoPark. Though SSID indicated that the three sites were not suitable for their use, the EPD will continue to liaise with SSID and to render all possible assistance. As soon as there are other short-term tenancy sites available for the recycling industry that will be open for tender, information will be provided for their consideration, and it is hoped that they can continue to provide services in Hong Kong.
From the perspective of environmental protection and recycling, the existing waste paper recycling plants will also be able to turn beverage cartons into paper pulp, provided that those plants have enough space for installing additional equipment. In order to maintain the local recycling capacity of beverage cartons in Hong Kong before the above-mentioned modern pulping facility to commence operation in 2025, the EPD will formulate additional measures. The EPD is preparing to arrange contractors to produce paper pulp with all the beverage cartons collected at the GREEN@COMMUNITY facilities.
In terms of legislation, the Government plans to submit the bill of producer responsibility schemes on plastic beverage containers and paper beverage cartons to request beverage manufacturers to take up the environmental responsibilities of collecting and recycling the two types of beverage packing in the future, in order to build a complete recycling chain.
The EPD believes that after this incident, there is a significant enhancement of public awareness in general in beverage carton recycling, which would be helpful to its works in beverage carton recycling in the future. The EPD will, as in the past, continue to co-operate with all parties in the recycling and green industries, working together to increase the speed and quantity of waste reduction and recycling in Hong Kong in the future.
Ends/Thursday, September 29, 2022
Issued at HKT 21:35
Issued at HKT 21:35