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EEB meets trade on sustainable development of recycling industry
     The Secretary for Environment and Ecology, Mr Tse Chin-wan today (November 21), together with Legislative Council members Hon Chan Hak-kan and Hon Chan Siu-hung, met with members from the recycling trade to have a candid discussion and exchange of views on the sustainable development of the recycling industry in Hong Kong and the operation of the EcoPark.
     The trade representatives at the meeting said that Hong Kong's recycling industry was currently facing great challenges and difficult business conditions, such as increase in operation cost, difficulties in logistics and transportation arrangements during the epidemic, unstable quantity of recyclables collected, shortage of labour and so on. They hoped that the Government could provide the trade with more support measures. Some representatives requested the Government to stop the export of waste to other places for recycling so as to encourage local recycling and support the development of the recycling industry in Hong Kong.

     Some trade representatives pointed out that Hong Kong's recycling industry involved different participants, including collectors, local recyclers and exporters. The Government policy should take into account a fair competitive business environment, and support the industry as a whole instead of favouring individual companies. Otherwise, it would reduce the efficiency of waste management and increase the overall social costs.
     Mr Tse expressed gratitude to those recycling industry practitioners entering the EcoPark through open tender and contributing to Hong Kong's environmental protection work. Under the premise of maintaining a free, open and rule-based business environment, the Government will treat all recycling industry practitioners, including EcoPark tenants, in a fair manner. It will also strengthen law enforcement against illegal activities to allow fair competition among operators who conduct their business legally.
     Mr Tse said he understood the difficulties faced by the industry. In view of the changing business environment of the global environmental protection industry and the shortage of land supply in Hong Kong, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has been striving to render support to the recycling industry, including the provision of land in the EcoPark and resources through the Recycling Fund, the Green Tech Fund and the Environment and Conservation Fund, to move up the value chain and make good use of innovative technology for recovery and recycling.
     In the policy aspect, the Government has been implementing progressively the producer responsibility schemes on various recyclable resources, which currently cover waste electrical and electronic equipment and glass beverage containers, and will be extended to include beverage plastic containers, beverage cartons and other recyclable resources in the future. Coupled with the imminent introduction of municipal solid waste charging and the continuous expansion of the community recycling network, they will create more favourable business conditions for the recycling industry.
     In face of the challenges of the international recycling market, besides providing support in terms of policy and resource allocation, the Government also encourages the industry to make good use of innovative technologies to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and overall competitiveness of the recycling industry, and develop high value-added businesses to strengthen competitiveness.
     The trade representatives at the meeting agreed that they should strengthen communication with each other. The Government will also keep in close liaison with the industry, and continue to enhance various support measures. The EPD will also adjust the operation strategy of the EcoPark from time to time in view of the market need and the actual situation of the tenants. The Environment and Ecology Bureau and the EPD will continue to communicate with the industry and support them to work together towards the development of a high value-added and sustainable recycling industry.
Ends/Monday, November 21, 2022
Issued at HKT 23:34
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