Government must start glass recycling

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 December, 2012, 3:06am

I read an article regarding glass recycling in Hong Kong and it really blew my mind. It said only 3 per cent of glass bottles were recycled and that the government doesn't pay attention to this problem, refusing subsidies for glass recycling volunteers. They collect glass everywhere and their diligence is to be respected and recognised, yet the government still does nothing about this environmental problem in Hong Kong.

The government should act now by introducing a "glass tax" to encourage glass collection and recycling. If necessary wholesalers can raise the price of products packaged in glass and these could be subsidised by government.

Glass recycling collection bins should be installed in convenient locations throughout Hong Kong. The public could get refunds as they return the bottles and jars, while bars and restaurants could have theirs collected directly and the tax redeemed. Citizens would not have the tax repaid if they failed to return the glass bottles and jars.

The government should also set up and fund glass recycling facilities to convert the recycled material into new products. After collection, the glass has to be processed before reuse. Professional engineers are required for this process.

The government should create a fund for glass processing to encourage recycling associations to accept glass as another important material to be recycled. It should also advertise to promote glass recycling.

The government has been making excuses, such as that broken glass around recycling bins may cause injuries, but it can educate people to place glass carefully in the bins.

Glass is widely used in our society. The means of recycling glass is simple. The government constantly seeks ways to slow down the fill rate of our landfills, while piles of glass are dumped into the landfills, taking up precious space for other non-recyclable resources. Please do something about it.

Angus Chen Tsz-chun, Tseung Kwan O