Dec 13, 2017 in Environment

Product ECO-Responsible Scheme


Nowadays, Hong Kong is experiencing an issue related to waste and capacity of existing landfills. The situation with the landfills is constantly getting worse. People are usually unaware of the waste reducing responsibility and the ways of consumption style improvement. Glass recycling in Hong Kong does not follow the organized process of public glass recycling. Existing precarious matter focuses on landfill issues and beverage bottles as they are closely related to recycling ways of waste materials. It is caused by the fact that waste glass volume and extent in the region is composed of glass bottles, which constitute more than 80% of waste in Hong Kong. The level of waste glass bottles equals about 200- 250 tons every day and corresponds to almost half a million of 750 ml bottles, and it manifests for about 3 % every day disposal towards solid waste in the region. In the same way, used glass is often used and revolved into bottles somewhere else in the sphere. The process of recycling glass bottles constitutes a real problem, which requires detaching from waste watercourse, sorting and washing for re-bottling purpose, and reprocessing into newfangled bottles or other glass goods. Poor performance of Hong Kong glass recycling is explained by the sheer cost of stuff collecting. Glass is heavy and needs much cost to be transported. In addition, glass recycling is considered to be crucial as the material is bulky and will never decompose. In spite of the complicated process, glass bottle recycling is considered to be environmentally advantageous to energy saving and initialization used within the manufacturing area. There also were some instances of generating the latter into building different kinds of materials taking the substitution of the sand use and other natural materials for construction purposes. It should be noted that not every waste glass is used to undergo similar recycling processes. For instance, PC monitors and lamps may sometimes include mercury or any other hazardous component, which requires a further measure of detoxification before the recycling process. In the same way, bottles of waste glass that have been landfilled in the region can be accommodated there until 2020. Unfortunately glass recycling is not the main concern of the Hong Kong government as glass takes up 4% of the total garbage tons dumped in the local landfills every day. However, Hong Kong government may face some challenges to reduce the waste. There is still a hope among citizens of Hong Kong region that all environmental policies and laws will be strictly followed and implemented. It is believed that PRS presence, which is an effective means of promoting greener environment, will help achieve sustainable management of waste in the region. If nothing will be done, the existing problem will result in an enormous amount of cost for the country.

Critical Evaluation

Hong Kong region has already gained substantial involvement of PRS. It was done due to an effective Environmental Levy Scheme on Plastic Bags that intend to transform behavior. It has agreed to follow the recycle and Producer Responsibility Scheme and the leading scheme beneath Producer Responsibility Scheme (PRS) to ensure environmental plastic bag charge that was presented in July, 2009. This was to integrate important resourcefulness policy of Policy Background for Administration of Community Solid Waste, which seems to be desired for waste reduction, its recovery, and increasing of recycling level. It has been stated that PRS has not only eco-re­sponsibility, but also polluter pays standard features. However, PRS makes all producers, wholesalers, traders, customers, and vendors share the plummeting and recuperating duty, definite goods recycling in order to curtail their environmental influence.

Furthermore, the process of PRS application includes a consultation document, which is able to strengthen precise assumptions that support responsibility schemes and recycling that are able to support management of plastic bags and waste glass to help Hong Kong region to have a controllable and steady pollution environment. The scheme below shows how PRS and the document concerning recycling emphasize salient aspects:

(a) After reviewing our past efforts in recycling of beverage bottles of waste glass, we proposed to introduce a mandatory PRS.

(b) A Government-led approach has been recommended for mandatory PRS as well as contribution of various stakeholders to a local solution for the proper management of waste glass beverage bottles.

(c) Retailers of beverage will be required to provide information related to their recycling to a consumer.

(d) A management contractor is suggested to be hired by the Government to provide the collection and recycling of waste glass beverage bottles which are recovered under the PRS.

(e) Recyclers will be required to obtain a license to ensure satisfactory standards of the service they provide and their professionalism.

(f) A recycling fee is going to be collected from beverage suppliers in order to cover the costs of PRS.

Moreover, some encouragement was transpired for private sectors to take an active part in the process (as it is presented in the PRS scheme). Private designers may join administration resourcefulness and encourage eco-pavers usage or further practicable applications related to glass recycling. The latter might upsurge the marketplace plea for glass recycling within both public and private segments and then stimulate business development of limited glass recycling.

Due to the efforts of Environmental Campaign Group, there were a lot of recycling bins provided to the domains of secluded housing in addition to reprocessing structures for glass bottles. Appropriate charitable programs related to the position of collection facilities may be associated with interesting events. There should be a need to endure a maintenance delivery to these programs and to assist in their development. There should have been collaboration with government divisions, which led to implementation of glass bottle reprocessing at administration venues and community places. Support of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department assisted in setting up of some waste bins of glass bottle, which were appropriate in particular remote islands including Cheung Chau and Lamma. It inspired contribution of local communities in separation of waste bottles.

Beverage dealers will be made to pay a reprocessing charge. There has been a proposal for recycling charge collection from beverage dealers, who are predominantly traders or food suppliers and are listed under the Food Safety Ordinance. It will be essential to submit this information concerning the glass bottle quantity they have delivered to customers, merchants, or local pubs to the Government. Thus, it is considered that charging stores might be problematic due to their sheer quantity. According to the Statistics Department and Census reviews, there are 14,000 establishments that operate in the sphere of food and drink trade. 

PRS is usually treated as an important tool of guiding principles for waste decrease, which is widely recognized within policy framework for Solid Waste (2005). PRS takes part in organizing shareholders to share their accountability for dumping or management of end-of-life goods to minimize environmental influence. Beverage dealers will have to deliver all applicable data concerning recycling. Pertinent material provision to customers provides split-up promotion of waste reprocessing. This is thought to increase the outcome of promotion and empower beverage merchants to contribute in the required PRS.

Furthermore, the procedures of automated reprocessing including grating and crushing have a possibility to yield sound and dirt, which may disturb the neighborhood. The requisite of innovative licensing should be presented in the Waste Disposal Ordinance to implement the finest practices, legal values, and work-related wellbeing. Licensing arrangement will provide an opportunity to facilitate the administration in tracing collection and recycling practices to guarantee appropriate recycling processes.

Glass administration worker should be appointed to gather waste glass bottles and turn them out to be recyclable resources. It has been indicated that compulsory glass bottle PRSs can realize a retrieval proportion ranging from 60% to 100%. It surpasses the mutual volume, which is scheduled for all prevailing controlled programs. It has been found out that maintaining elevated principles of management encourages competence and sets values so that treatment of waste glass bottles will become more ecologically comprehensive. There is a need to continue endorsing green procurement, which may withstand and hearten demand for goods that encompass recycled glass. The Administration may play a vital role in the community instruction and public relations to encourage reprocessing of waste glass bottles. Prohibition of a landfill will provide a robust indication that plummeting landfill heaviness is one of the main objectives of the proposal, which aims at strengthening communication with every waste producer to become more eco-responsible and to perform source parting to distract glass bottles from general waste stream. It is hard to differentiate the targeted bottles from supplementary bottles, which are not included in landfill proposal. Nowadays, safeguarding compliance of services of waste disposal has become a real challenge.

Almost 1,500 tons of waste glass bottles were recovered in 2012 compared to 55,000 tons in 2011. Nowadays, waste glass bottles, which are recuperated for reprocessing, are usually delivered to local eco-pavers producers. More and more paving blocks, which are utilized in community works include recycled glass providing an opportunity to recycle additional glass. It is done due to the moderately advanced eco-pavers machinery that contains a double coating arrangement with the presence of further improved high cover surface.

A particular presentation in eco-pavers formation could not deliver a passable opening to fascinate waste glass, which is recuperated beneath a region extensive PRS. The Administration is advised to discover other practicable building mechanism applications. For instance, glass sand extracted from crushed bottles has the comparable mechanical presentation of recycled collections and may be appropriate for the site development practice and retrieval works.

Nevertheless, financial disincentives of administrative practices make Hong Kong greener. The PRS principal accepted on the PERO foundation derived into upshot in July of 2009. This arrangement, which is a result of the Product Eco-responsibility (Plastic Bags) Guideline, states that all merchants are required to charge their clients at least HK$0.50 for the delivery of every single plastic bag. Thus, merchants submit a three-monthly return and assert the plastic bag amount that was distributed to customers. Then they pay the entire tax quantity acknowledged. There has been pre-paid charge for recycling that is executed on beverage dealers. Foreign experience advises a charge of about $1 for every 5l bottle. In addition, a red wine bottle of a standard size would acquire a charge of about $0.75. Thus, it is necessary to determine the level centered on recycling charge.

It has been agreed by consensus with the PRS and its underlying practices that focus on various efforts on how to improve the recycling process of glass bottles and plastic bags that are used for shopping purposes. Compulsory PRS implementation has created certain alternatives for switching non-glass packing that will work on the basis of PRS ways. As a result, in order to resolve the prevailing waste challenge, it is necessary for the HKSAR Administration to exercise robust administrative measures, which will proactively accomplish and decrease waste, review the agreement of waste charging to generate stronger motivations for private division and fine-tune the charges in order to decrease waste by means of compulsory application, providing co-benefits, compassionate procedures, and collaboration among stakeholders for recycled goods. It is also essential to integrate the understanding that waste management is favorable into waste administration choice creation.

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