Letters | Hong Kong recycler Mil Mill’s troubles highlight need to make recycling profitable
- Readers discuss the urgency to implement a producer responsibility scheme, the doctors faking Covid-19 exemptions and the Hindu view on euthanasia
Before a privately owned recycling plant called Mil Mill began operations, used liquid cartons were treated as waste rather than a resource. In the past three years, the initiative to recycle cartons has been gaining traction as the public increasingly understands that they can be recycled.
Mil Mill has been struggling to get enough feedstock to generate high-quality wet pulp to produce saleable recycled product while reducing pressure on landfills.
If the Environmental Protection Department cannot help the only liquid carton recycling plant sustain its operations, the concerted efforts made by the government, businesses, NGOs and members of the public in the past few years will be a total waste. The public will doubt whether the administration is serious about waste reduction and its overall environmental efforts.
But despite The Green Earth and others urging the EPD to develop such legislation for years, there only is a vague timeline saying that the legislation may be implemented by 2025 the earliest, and that only PET bottles will be regulated by giving a rebate of just 10 HK cents (1 US cent) per bottle.
Singapore might be ahead of us. Its National Environment Agency is inviting views on its Beverage Container Return Scheme, which is proposed to be implemented by mid-2024. The agency has established a more vigorous framework, which proposes to charge a refundable deposit of 10 to 20 Singapore cents (7 US cents to 14 US cents) when a pre-packed beverage is purchased. It proposes to include liquid cartons in a separate phase from PET bottles.
This Mil Mill issue has sent a clear signal to the EPD that the producer responsibility scheme for beverage containers must cover all types of pack formats. Leaving out one type will create a loophole for beverage producers to continue making profits without shouldering their due environmental responsibility.
Edwin Lau Che-feng, executive director, The Green Earth
Certificate fakers deserve harsh treatment
The pursuit of profit from doctors who threw aside their obligation to the four pillars of ethics that govern them – doing good, not doing harm, giving the patient the freedom to choose freely where they are able and ensuring fairness – is repugnant. They have embarrassed Hong Kong on the international stage, as have those who thought they were above the rest of society in using the false instruments provided.
It will be testament to the rule of law in Hong Kong that all those found guilty receive the most severe of sentences.
Mark Peaker, The Peak
Re-education key to assisted suicide debate
The Hindu mystics came to the conclusion that a person’s happiness or suffering is directly an outcome of their actions. Right actions will lead to happiness and peace, while wrong actions will hand out suffering.
The solution is that the mind needs to be re-educated and made aware of the law of action. This education needs to be reinforced through the simple technique of meditation. Let our government and carers experiment with this concept and come to their own conclusion. Right understanding of the laws of life shall lead to right actions.
K.P. Daswani, Mid-Levels