More plastic control measures to start next year: eco-chief

2024-06-03 03:35     BY Yuki Lei    Comment:1

The Environmental Protection Bureau (DSPA) has implemented a raft of measures to restrict the import and local use of plastic in the past few years, and DSPA Director Raymond Tam Wai Man pledged yesterday that, based on the consensus of civil society, the bureau will implement even more plastic control measures in the future, with new plastic restrictions slated to take effect next year.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Tam said that an interim review and evaluation concerning the bureau’s plastic control measures will be conducted this year, and the next phase of measures will be discussed with the relevant research entities. “There will be new plastic restriction measures next year, but they may not be implemented from January 1 onwards”, Tam said.

The local government has banned the import of disposable Styrofoam meal boxes, bowls and cups since January 1, 2021, the import of non-biodegradable single-use plastic drinking straws and drink stirrers since January 1, 2022, and the import of non-biodegradable single-use plastic plates, plastic cups and disposable Styrofoam plates since the beginning of this year.

Tam made the remarks on the sidelines of yesterday’s “Carnival Commemorating World Environment Day 2024 in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area” (GBA) in Praça da Amizade (commonly known as Sintra Square) in the city centre.

Due to upcoming World Environment Day commemorated every June 5, the bureau, in conjunction with its counterparts in other GBA cities, co-organised the one-day carnival, with a view to deepening environmental protection cooperation and exchanges in the Greater Bay Area and encouraging members of the public to practise the concept of a green and low-carbon lifestyle through a series of activities, according to a DSPA statement.

Addressing yesterday’s event, Tam announced the schedule for his bureau’s environmental protection promotion programme, including the holding of “Lights Out for an Hour” from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday; the “Dress Casual for Summer, Save Energy” between today and August 31; and a lucky draw for the “5% Energy Saving Campaign” between July and October, as well as the setting-up of two additional Eco-Fun stations, one in Toi San district and the other near Rua do Cunha in Taipa.

In addition, according to Tam, the bureau’s “Eco-Fun” scheme will be formally renamed “Carbon Bonus Points” starting on Wednesday, when more environmentally-friendly items that can earn “Carbon Bonus Points” will be added, in the hope of promoting carbon reduction in the community.

Meanwhile, Tam also told reporters yesterday that the construction of the Organic Resources Recovery Centre at the construction waste landfill on Avenida do Aeroporto in Taipa will commence this year and was expected to last two to three years.

Regarding food waste recycling, Tan said that several private housing estates were being identified as pilot sites for the government’s food waste recycling programme, aiming to promote the synchronisation of the recycling of food waste in both private and public housing estates: “We will identify some relatively fully developed housing estates as pilot sites……and liaise with the relevant property management companies and housing estates so that we can promote the scheme together after reaching a consensus……” 

Environmental Protection Bureau (DSPA) Director Raymond Tam Wai Man addresses yesterday’s “Carnival Commemorating World Environment Day 2024 in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area” in Praça da Amizade in the city centre. – Photo: Yuki Lei

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