HK to introduce 50 cent bag levy

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 January, 2008, 12:00am

Hong Kong is going to charge a 50 cent levy for plastic bags handed out at some shops under a law that promotes eco-responsibility.

The Environmental Protection Department has proposed that retailers and chains of certain categories and size will be prohibited from providing free bags. Wet markets, bakeries and small individual retail outlets will not initially be affected, and bags used to contain food will also be exempt.

Charges will also be levied on biodegradable bags and reusable shopping bags valued at less than HK$5.

Some estimates suggest up to 1 billion fewer bags could be used in the first year after introduction of the charge. Hong Kong disposes of about 23 million bags every day, or three plastic bags per person.