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Extended Essay Hk Government Policy Essay

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2013 – 2022
Environment Bureau

May 2013





Preface .................................................................................................... 1 Summary ................................................................................................. 2

1 | Our Vision for Sustainable Use of Resources ........................................... 3

2 | Our Challenges & Opportunities ............................................................. 4 3 | The Action Blueprint 2013 - 2022........................................................11 4 | MSW Disposal Rate Reduction Targets by 2022 .....................................18 5 | An Evolving Waste Management Structure ..............................................19 6 | Conclusion.........................................................................................24 Annex .....................................................................................................25 Abbreviation ............................................................................................26


he types and quantities of waste we generate and dispose of are influenced by economic development, lifestyle and habit. As disposable income and living standard increase, consumption of goods and services correspondingly rise, as does the amount of waste we generate.


Hong Kong’s daily per capita domestic waste generation rate is high when compared to cities in Asia at stages of economic development similar to ours. Since the mid-1990s, a number of leading Asian cities have achieved very good results in waste reduction. Their experience tells us that Hong Kong can do very much better if we take coordinated and simultaneous action on waste prevention, reuse, recycling, recovery, treatment and landfilling, as part of a whole resources management chain. Hong Kong has fallen behind because we have only taken some of the steps. We need to urgently fill in the gaps.

We understand what needs to be done and we are committed to taking all the necessary decisions and actions now so that we can put Hong Kong on a clear path, with targets and a timeline, towards a “Use Less, Waste Less” lifestyle. We will put substantial effort in social campaigns to mobilize our citizens to take more environmentally-sustainable actions in their daily lives. We will work with communities and districts, we will collaborate with business stakeholders, and we will encourage NGOs to develop projects as we make this transition together. Permit me to share one of my personal beliefs. I believe a simpler life is a happier life. We can eat what we need, which can be nutritious and delicious, and not more. There are many opportunities for us to enjoy simplicity. Our homes do not need to be over-designed. We can separate recyclables so we can recover resources. We can work together in our community so that we and future generations can transform and conserve Hong Kong with sustainable and green moves.

KS Wong
Secretary for the Environment
May 2013



Use less and waste less
of the Earth’s resources
through instilling an
environmentallysustainable culture into
Hong Kong people’s
daily life.

Overall Target
Reduce the
Municipal Solid
Waste (MSW)
disposal rate by 40%
on a per capita basis
by 2022.

Develop a comprehensive
waste management
plan and promote a new
social contract with the
community to conserve
resources and reduce

Policy Directions



Government to
take multiple,
concurrent actions
to prevent and
reduce waste

Make all out
efforts to
mobilize the
community to


Fill missing
gaps in
Hong Kong’s

Key Actions

Drive behavioural change through
policies and legislation to reduce
waste, such as MSW charging and
Producer Responsibility Schemes

Mobilize the community through
targeted campaigns, such as with
food waste, glass beverage bottles
collection, bring your own bag (BYOB),
community green stations etc.

Specific Targets

Target Result

To reduce the current per capita MSW disposal rate of
1.27 kg per day to 0.8kg per day by 2022.



Invest in infrastructure, including
Organic Waste Treatment Facilities
(OWTFs), waste-to-energy MSW
treatment, and landfill extensions.



To transform the waste
management structure by 2022.












1 Our Vision for Sustainable Use of Resources
resources. When we throw the
plastic bottle away, we forget that
there had already been very large
quantities of waste and emissions
generated from its production and
transportation including the extractive
and manufacturing processes.

A New Social Contract
Our vision is to use less and waste
less of the Earth’s resources
through instilling an environmentallysustainable culture into Hong Kong people’s daily life.
To achieve this vision, it takes no less
than a new social contract between
the Government and the people of
Hong Kong. This blueprint proposes
a mix of public and community

A “Use Less, Waste Less”
Shared Value
A new social contract must be
grounded in a clear and widely
shared value, which we summarize
simply as “Use less, Waste less”.
This value is grounded in the fact that
everything we consume has a hidden
story – every item has an inventory
of the materials and resources that
have gone into producing it. For
example, the act of creation, such
as for a humble beverage plastic
bottle, uses enormous amounts of
energy, materials, water and other

There is another aspect of our
modern life we cannot ignore – the
ethical dimension. The consumption
lifestyle must be tempered to achieve
sustainable development for all –
including in high consuming Hong
Kong. Indeed, as a community,
we are generating so much waste
everyday that we are no longer able
to carry on like we have been. We
have a waste crisis that needs urgent
The starting point of our new waste
policy is to adopt a different attitude
to waste in Hong Kong. Our waste
stream contains a treasure trove of
useful resources, much of which can
be reused, recycled and recovered.
At the same time, we must reduce
waste at source by cutting down
on unnecessary consumption

and promote source separation
– especially with respect to food
waste. In our businesses, we must
challenge ourselves to find new ways
that put less demand on resources.

Waste Less is Everyone’s
Managing waste in any city is an
intensive service that involves many
activities and people. This blueprint
touches upon the entire resource
chain although greater emphasis
is given to those aspects that must
be dealt with urgently because they
are the most critical. This includes
the completion of a comprehensive
system of waste reduction, charging,
handling, treatment and disposal for
Hong Kong.
To make the change, we all need
to work together – Government,
Business and Community. We need
everyone to participate to reach the
goal we have set in this plan. When
we arrive there, we will have to
quicken the pace and go further along
the path of “Use less, Waste less”.

This blueprint touches upon the entire resource
chain although greater emphasis is given to those
aspects that must be dealt with urgently because
they are the most critical. This includes the
completion of a comprehensive system of waste
reduction, charging, handling, treatment and
disposal for Hong Kong.


2 Our Challenges & Opportunities
While dealing with Hong Kong’s
waste challenge is a complex
exercise, we have the capability to
do it because we understand the
problem, we can set appropriate
policies, and we have the financial
resources to take action. Most
importantly, we have as yet the
untapped potential of mobilizing the
people of Hong Kong to change how
they deal with waste.

as Hong Kong’s major challenges and
opportunities in dealing with waste.

kg to 1.27kg, so not only were there
more of us throwing away waste, but
we were each throwing away 30%

The Challenges
1. Large ‘waste load’

We have a large ‘waste load’. Over
the years, Hong Kong people have
become more, not less, wasteful.
In the past 30 years, our MSW
increased by nearly 80% while our
population grew by 36% and our
Before we put forward The Action
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Blueprint (2013-2022) in the next
increased two fold. Tellingly, the daily
chapter, we want to explain what we see
per capita MSW rate rose from 0.97

Our wasteful habits put tremendous
pressure on the entire waste chain
from collection to final disposal. In
light of the enormous quantities of
waste Hong Kong has to deal with
every day, we must prevent and
reduce the total amount of waste at
source if we are to ease the pressure


Paper 22%
Wood/Rattan 4%
Glass 3%
Metal 2%
Textiles 2%


hazardous wastes 1%


Others 3%


Composition of MSW in Hong Kong, 2011
Note: The average daily MSW disposal
quantity was 9,000 tonnes in 2011.



Our Challenges & Opportunities

waste collectors just lump everything
from the recycling bins together and
While many improvements have
been made, people question whether take them to the landfill. their efforts in waste separation are
We believe Hong Kong people
helping to increase waste recovery.
There are still public concerns about are willing to practice waste separation and recycling but they
a range of inadequacies with the
want better support. The lack of a
quantities, sizes and locations of
recycling bins. There are also doubts comprehensive and convenient waste collection system diminishes the
being raised about whether some
2. Public distrust

effort people are willing to make. We
must improve the front-end of the
waste chain through strengthening
the waste separation of recyclables
and the collection system in order to
reinforce public trust.

Hong Kong’s Waste Load Compared
Despite difficulties in making direct comparisons in the MSW disposal rates between cities because of different methods of calculation in waste quantities, the many differences in culture and habits, and different stages of industrial and commercial development, useful insights can still be gleamed from looking at cities’ domestic waste generation rates. Hong Kong has a comparatively large waste load compared to neighbouring cities at a similar level of development. Figure 2 compares Hong Kong’s daily domestic waste generation rate with Seoul, Taipei City and Tokyo.


Daily domestic waste generation rates per capita compared









Sources: Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department; Ministry of the Environment of Japan; Taiwan environmental authority and Seoul Metropolitan Government
Note: Different places have different definitions of waste and different methods of compiling waste statistics. Hence apparently similar parameters may not be directly comparable. For example, Seoul reports its per capita municipal waste generation as 0.95 kg/day, but this only covers waste from households and small businesses, which is more similar to the domestic waste as defined in Hong Kong.



Our Challenges & Opportunities

3. Limited capacity to absorb waste
Hong Kong is a highly urbanized city
with a service economy. It is not easy
to establish waste recycling industries
here when land is ...

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