Environmental levy on plastic shopping bags to start from July 7 (with photos)
The Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, officiated today (July 5) at the pre-commencement ceremony of the Environmental Levy Scheme on Plastic Shopping Bags organised by the Environmental Protection Department at East Point City, Tseung Kwan O.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Yau called on the public to make Hong Kong green by taking their own shopping bags.
"The Environmental Levy Scheme on Plastic Shopping Bags will commence on July 7. People are encouraged to do more for the environment by using fewer plastic bags and taking their own shopping bags," Mr Yau said .
Under the scheme, registered retailers are required to charge customers a 50-cent environmental levy for providing a plastic shopping bag with handle. Prescribed retailers include major and chain supermarkets, convenience stores, personal health and beauty stores, and supermarkets inside department stores.
"The levy scheme provides a direct economic incentive to discourage the indiscriminate use of plastic shopping bags. More and more people in Hong Kong now bring their own shopping bags and use fewer plastic shopping bags as they know more about the importance of the environment to the future of Hong Kong," Mr Yau said.
Legislative members, representatives of environmental groups and Wai Yin Association and artistes attended the ceremony today to share their experiences in "Bring Your Own Bag" (BYOB). The prizes for the "My Dream Shopping Bag" competition for students were also presented. The various designs by the students demonstrate their creativity. At the conclusion of the ceremony, representatives of Wai Yin Association and Miss Hong Kong showed the environmental bags they had designed on the catwalk.
To bring the Environmental Levy Scheme on Plastic Shopping Bags to the notice of different sectors of the community, the Under Secretary for the Environment, Dr Kitty Poon, today distributed magnets carrying publicity messages to foreign domestic helpers in Central. The messages on the magnets are printed in Chinese, English, Tagalog, Indonesian and Thai to enable domestic helpers of different nationalities to understand that the scheme will begin shortly and to encourage them to bring their own shopping bags.
Ends/Sunday, July 5, 2009