Bag recycling urged
Manufacturers of plastic bags should be paid to collect and recycle them, legislators have proposed.
The lawmakers said the government could use the revenue generated from its proposed tax on plastic bags to subsidise recycling.
At yesterday's meeting of the Finance Committee, Chan Yuen-han, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, criticised the government for a lack of co-ordination on environmental policy.
'Hong Kong is facing a problem with rubbish disposal,' Ms Chan said. 'A plastic bag tax is only one of the ways to reduce waste. It should be supplemented by recycling used bags.'
Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, of the Civic Party, also urged support for recycling since such a venture might not be commercially viable.
Secretary for the Environment Edward Yau Tang-wah said the government had discussed bag recycling with the relevant sectors but this did not seem very popular.
'We believe the 50-cent tax ... will be an effective way to reduce the abuse of plastic bags,' he said.
If the tax becomes law, consumers will have to pay 50 cents for a plastic bag at large shops and certain other retailers.
Bin liners and bags for packing fresh food will be exempt.