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EPD launches clean recycling publicity and public education campaign to promote waste reduction for all

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) today (December 19) held the "Dump Less, Save More, Recycle Right" Kick-off Ceremony cum 2017 Friends of EcoPark Award Presentation Ceremony to launch a new round of the clean recycling publicity and public education campaign. In addition, the event was held to honour about 200 organisations from both the public and private sectors in recognition of their support for EcoPark tenants and to encourage further collaboration to enhance the local recycling industry.

Speaking at the kick-off and award presentation ceremony, the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, said that in preparing for the implementation of quantity-based municipal solid waste charging, the Government is fully committed to promoting territory-wide waste reduction, as well as encouraging the public to make good use of resources to follow the concept of "Dump Less, Save More". While waste reduction at source is of utmost importance, clean recycling is also essential for achieving sustainable use of resources. It is therefore important to enhance public understanding of "Recycle Right" to improve the quality and quantity of recyclables and support their outlets.

To tie in with the Mainland's tightened requirements for importing recyclables, the new round of the clean recycling publicity and public education campaign focuses on educating the public to put clean recyclables including three types of waste paper (namely paperboard, newspaper and office paper) and two types of waste plastic containers (namely plastic containers for beverages or personal care products) into residential, workplace or roadside recycling facilities.

Mr Wong called on the public to properly sort and tie up waste paper before putting it into recycling bins. Paper recyclables should be kept dry and clean without watering them, and adhesive tape on paperboard should be removed as far as possible. Mr Wong also encouraged the public to briefly rinse waste plastic containers, when practicable, before putting them into recycling bins.

Mr Wong said, "As for other types of waste paper and waste plastic, if we are willing to do further sorting, or if there is sufficient quantity for a particular type of waste paper or waste plastic, they can still be recycled and processed into raw materials given the current processing capability of individual recyclers in Hong Kong. For example, the waste plastic materials produced by the commercial and industrial sector still have considerable recycling value by being turned into raw materials, as long as there is sufficient quantity for a single type of waste plastic material. Also, if we tear off the cover and inner pages of magazines which contain plastic materials, these magazines can still generally be recycled as newspaper. We will disseminate relevant information through various channels later."

Mr Wong added, "If we follow the previous practice of not doing recycling properly, these three types of waste paper and two types of plastic containers will have to be dumped due to improper sorting."

He pointed out that the new round of the clean recycling publicity campaign aims to secure a possible outlet for the recyclables generated by domestic households, which comprise about 40 per cent waste paper and 20 per cent waste plastics. Waste paper and waste plastic generated by the commercial and industrial sector, which are the main source of recyclables, can still be recycled by making arrangements with recyclers direct.

The new TV Announcement in the Public Interest (API) on clean recycling of waste paper made its debut at today's ceremony. The EPD will also launch a TV API on clean recycling of waste plastic bottles and hold other related public education activities in the future.

In addition, about 200 organisations from both the public and private sectors participating in the Friends of EcoPark scheme received awards at the ceremony today. Mr Wong said that apart from promoting waste reduction at source and clean recycling, promoting recycling and recovery is also one of the keys to sustainable waste management. He added that community support is required to promote the development of the local recycling industry. He thanked all the participating organisations for their support for EcoPark tenants and called on them to continue their efforts to go green.

Launched by the EPD in 2010, the Friends of EcoPark scheme aims to encourage the EcoPark tenants to extend their waste sourcing and collection network and to promote their recycled products by fostering partnership among the private and public sectors and EcoPark tenants. The number of participating companies and organisations has been increasing, and the awarded companies and organisations comprise a wide range of business sectors including hotels, catering, engineering, logistics, retail, cleaning and property management, as well as a number of organisations from the public sector. For more information about the Friends of EcoPark scheme, please visit the EcoPark's website at www.ecopark.com.hk or call its hotline on 2496 7633.

Also officiating at today's ceremony were the Chairman of the Environmental Campaign Committee, Mr Lam Chiu-ying; the Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Council Panel on Environmental Affairs, Dr Junius Ho; and Professor Jonathan Wong from Hong Kong Baptist University's Department of Biology.

19.12.2017


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