PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 November, 2007, 12:00am

Should ParknShop have stuck to its 'no plastic bag' campaign?

Hong Kong has a serious pollution problem with its plastic bags, given that 23 million bags are discarded every day in the city and the annual figure is 8.4 billion.

ParknShop had hoped that its 'no plastic bag' campaign would cut the number of plastic bags by 90 million in the next two years ('Shoppers face 'voluntary' bag levy', November 21).

If the campaign had not been scrapped, I think it would have had an enormous effect. It was inevitable that it would face criticism from some quarters, but you always face obstacles before achieving success.

In fact, shoppers were becoming accustomed to the voluntary levy and many were bringing their own recycled bags. It was clear that this levy was an effective way of encouraging people at the grass roots to stop wasting plastic bags.

What is more, it aroused public awareness of the need for environmental protection.

Left on their own, Hong Kong people lack the initiative to remedy the problem of pollution from plastic products.

However, ParknShop was acting as a role model for other shops to follow.

It should have kept the campaign going.

Wong Sai-man, Wong Tai Sin

ParknShop has been heavily criticised for scrapping its 'no plastic bag' campaign.

It cannot be denied that over the years ParknShop has made substantial profits thanks to Hong Kong shoppers, so it was inevitable that it should recognise its social responsibilities.

The voluntary levy on plastic bags was welcomed by many people, including green groups, but was short-lived.

I think ParknShop should have thought twice before ending the policy.

Celeste Pang, Hung Hom

I think ParknShop should have stuck with its 'no plastic bag' campaign. Even though it launched the policy rather hastily, it should have tried its best to stick with it.

I think the policy was achieving its aim of getting some shoppers to bring reusable bags.

The supermarket appeared to be afraid of being a pioneer in the advocacy of environmental protection.

It should have had better promotion for the new policy, instead of doing a U-turn and scrapping it.

Cheuk Chung-yin, Mong Kok

Will you be upgrading to receive digital TV signals?

I welcome digital TV as I believe it will solve the reception problems some viewers experience.

It will also give people a greater choice of programmes to watch and I think it will present broadcasters with more business opportunities.

The electronics industry in Hong Kong will benefit from consumer demand for digital products.

However, while many people welcome digital TV, one group is being ignored.

In some cases to get digital services, it will be necessary to buy a new television and high-definition sets are expensive, at least HK$3,000. That is too high a sum for low-income families - a large portion of a month's salary for some.

I am also concerned about the possible effect on the environment. What will people who buy new high-definition TVs do with their old sets? I am concerned that many of them will end up dumped into our nearly full landfills and that as they deteriorate, they will damage the environment.

Chan Chun-yin, Tin Shui Wai

I think the general public and the commercial sector will benefit from free-to-air digital broadcasting.

I welcome the new service as it will bring me new sources of entertainment. At the moment, the free television channels have only a limited service. There will be much more for me to watch.

Although it will cost an extra HK$2,000 to install a set-top box to receive the digital signal, I think it is worth spending this sum. Also, we are likely to get some interactive programmes like traffic information and restaurant listings.

From the commercial point of view, digital services will provide new sources of income to ATV and TVB, because there will now be a large platform for television adverts. It might also be easier for certain companies to identify viewers who can be targeted as customers, as people who have watched little television before are attracted to the new channels. However, I can foresee teething problems as the new services are brought on line in Hong Kong. Like everything in life, there are two sides, positive and negative, and there will be some who do not welcome the new service.

Celeste Cheng Hiu-yan, Kowloon City

On other matters ...

I usually go hill walking on Sundays along the Wilson Trail.

I walk from Quarry Bay to Parkview and encounter many other hill walkers with dogs going in the opposite direction.

In all cases, the dogs are neither leashed nor under control, which is against the law under the relevant country parks regulations.

Last Sunday I was again confronted with the same situation. A small dog, not on a leash, initially passed by me, but then came back to harass me.

As usual I used my walking stick to ward it off. The owner got excited and accused me of agitating his dog and swore at me in English. I stood my ground, even though I was threatened.

I would like to know why dog owners are allowed to break the law in our country parks. If a dog is not on a leash, then there is no way an owner can say that, under the terms of the law, the dog is under his/her control.

I would be grateful if the relevant government departments could reply.

W. S. Fu, North Point

About a decade ago, the government proposed more escalators for the Mid-Levels area to relieve traffic congestion.

The escalator scheme included Western District. These escalators would have been linked to MTR stations and would, similarly, be mass transit in nature. Demand for buses and private cars would be vastly reduced and pollution levels would drop. The environment for residents would get better.

Unfortunately, this grand plan died a silent death with no explanation. If this administration has any more grand plans, I hope they will include the escalators.

I suspect some powerful political obstacles stood in the way of officials last time. Hopefully, this time the government will overcome these obstacles.

John Yuan, Beijing