7 September 2021
Mr Wong Kam-sing, GBS, JP
Secretary for the Environment
16/F, East Wing, Central Government Offices
2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar
Hong Kong By Email and Post
Dear Mr Wong,
Public Consultation on the Scheme on Regulation of Disposable Plastic Tableware
The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce is pleased to submit its views on the Government’s proposed Scheme on Regulation of Disposable Plastic Tableware.
As pointed out in the Waste Blueprint for Hong Kong 2035, eliminating plastics at source represents an effective means to reducing pollution and achieving sustainability. If Hong Kong is to adopt a plastic-free culture over the longer term, reducing single-use items will be a necessary part of such an objective.
We support the use of legislation to eliminate disposable plastic tableware through the proposals as set out in the consultation document and have also included our comments and recommendations as set out in the attached.
We hope you will find our input useful to your deliberations.
cc: Waste Reduction and Recycling Group, Environmental Protection Department
Public Consultation on the Scheme on Regulation of Disposable Plastic Tableware (“Regulation Scheme”)
Response by the Hong General Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber welcomes the opportunity to submit its views on the Government’s proposal for regulating disposable plastic tableware.
Despite the convenience, durability and low-cost offered by plastic, it does not biodegrade and therefore poses a challenge to our environment and health. According to the World Economic Forum’s estimations, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea.
It is therefore important to change the way that plastics are dealt with in our economy if current trends are to be curbed and then reversed. Our views on the Government’s policy proposals to address the sale and use of disposable plastic tableware are as set out in the following.
Answer to Consultation Questions
Question 1: Do you support in principle the introduction of legislation to regulate disposable plastic tableware?
Question 2a: Do you agree that the Regulation Scheme should cover all types of disposable plastic tableware listed in Section 3.1?
(a) meet safety and heat resistance standards;
(b) possess loading requirements;
(c) economically affordable to business of all sizes;
(d) eco-friendly and align with environmental practices in the international community; and
(e) cater to small and space-starved restaurants in Hong Kong.
Question 2b: Do you agree that the Regulation Scheme should cover “plastic substitutes” (e.g. oxo-degradable plastics, biodegradable plastics, etc.) that claim to be degradable or biodegradable?
Question 3: Do you agree that the sale of disposable EPS tableware to local end-consumers (including catering premises) should be banned?
Question 4: Do you agree that the Regulation Scheme should cover all catering premises?
Question 5: Do you agree that provision of disposable plastic tableware by catering premises to customers for dine-in services should be completely banned in the first place?
Question 6: Given that catering services provided for private events and dine-in services are similar in nature, do you agree that catering services provided for private events (including the provision of food & beverages and catering staff) should be included in the scope of dine-in services?
Question 7: Do you agree that the ban on the provision of the following disposable plastic tableware by catering premises to customers for takeaway services should be imposed in phases?
Question 8: What are your views on the timetable for implementing the Regulation Scheme in a progressive manner as proposed in the Regulation Scheme?
Question 9: Do you agree to the exclusions proposed in Sections 3.22 to 3.25?
Question 10: Do you have any other opinions on the “Scheme on Regulation of Disposable Plastic Tableware” and other relevant issues?
(a) release their constituents into food at levels harmful to human health;
(b) change the composition, taste, and odor of foods; and
(c) bring about changes in the taste or odor of foods.
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