Hong Kong wants to recycle 100 tonnes a day

Hong Kong wants to recycle 100 tonnes a day

Hong Kong is considering a levy on glass bottles suppliers to help boost recycling rates.

The region's environment bureau yesterday (7 February) launched a consultation on introducing a mandatory levy for glass beverage bottles. The proposed scheme would follow the “polluter pays” principle, the bureau said, with proceeds going to a contractor to collect and recycle glass beverage bottles. 

The South China Morning Post reported officials saying that the tax would equal about HKD1 (US$0.13) and raise “tens of millions” of dollars a year. Market forces would decide how the fee is split between importers, wholesalers, retailers and consumers, the officials said.

Torsten Stocker, partner at strategy consulting firm Monitor-Deloitte Greater China, told just-drinks it is unclear if the tax will affect beverage companies in Hong Kong. “That will depend on how the levy is passed through,” Stocker said.

Environment secretary Wong Kam-sing said he expects about 70% of glass bottles to be recycled under the scheme, or about 100 tonnes a day.

The three-month consultation will end on 6 May, the bureau said.

A US study last year claimed that recycling rates in the country for aluminium cans increased from 58% to 65% in 2011.