Recycling fee on glass bottles proposed

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 February, 2013, 9:12pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 February, 2013, 9:13pm

The Environment Bureau on Thursday has proposed charging a levy on glass beverage bottles from drink suppliers to promote recycling and reduce waste.

In a consultation document, the bureau suggested using the fee to cover the costs of recycling glass beverage bottles, which accounted for two thirds of waste glass bottles in 2011.

A contractor would be appointed to collect and recycle the used bottles by turning them into new bottles, construction materials, or other glass products.

The bureau estimates that about 70 per cent of all waste glass beverage bottles in Hong Kong could be recycled into useable products.

The levy is expected to be set at around HK$1 per litre of the bottle. Under this scale, a normal-sized 750-ml bottle of red wine would incur a recycling fee of around HK$0.75.

Under the proposal, the fee will be charged on drink suppliers or wholesalers – rather than on retailers or consumers.

Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing said this would be the simplest and most effective way to collect the fee.

“Suppliers and wholesalers, currently numbered at around 1,700, would be a relatively confined group that can help us effectively collect the levy,” said Wong.

“Eventually the fee would be shared through the market force,” he said.

A three-month consultation on the proposal began on Thursday.