Legislators have threatened to stop scrutinising the Product Eco-Responsibility Bill if environment officials fail to address what lawmakers say are crucial issues relating to the nature and scope of the proposed legislation. The threats, if realised, could mean the proposed 50 Hong Kong cents levy per plastic shopping bag would be aborted or delayed. It will also throw officials into uncertainty in pushing forward similar charges for other products such as electronic and electrical appliances. At the bills committee yesterday, legislators Miriam Lau Kin-yee from the Liberal Party and Choy So-yuk from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong said they preferred to stop scrutinising the bill unless officials revised their proposals. 'If there isn't any changes by the next meeting, I think we should not waste our time any more on scrutinising the bill,' said Ms Choy. Yesterday's meeting was the fifth since January, but legislators are bogged down, arguing with officials on policy issues and the bill's aims, rather than working through the bill clause by clause. One point at issue is whether the plastic bag levy is more of a tax than a product responsibility scheme aimed at promoting recycling and recovery. Civic Party lawmaker Audrey Yu Yuet-mee asked why the levy, which is likely to raise HK$200 million a year, would not be spent on helping bag distributors or manufacturers in recycling. Another issue worrying lawmakers is that the bill gives the environment chief power to impose levies or fees on other products where deemed necessary, but gives few details. Lawmakers said the bill as proposed meant they would have no power to scrutinise such levies or consult affected stakeholders. In response, Albert Lam Kai-chung, the deputy director of environmental protection, said the bag levy was backed by a community consensus and it was the best to demonstrate what product responsibility was about. 'If the plastic bag levy that many people agreed to has so many problems, it will be hard to put forward parallel schemes for other products,' said Mr Lam. He said the bill set out the direction of the scheme under which six products might be levied in future.