Carton Recycler Mil Mill Offered 6-Month Lease Extension

Mil Mill Offered 6-Month Lease Extension; EPD Adds Recycling Arrangements

On the verge of a potential shutdown, Hong Kong’s lone beverage carton recycler, Mil Mill, might get a new lease on life after its landlord decided to extend its tenancy agreement by six months. In a statement on Sept. 29, the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) said it offered a six-month grace period ending in June 2023 to Mil Mill.

In mid-2020, the HKSTP approached Secure Information Disposable Services Limited (SSID), Mil Mill’s parent company, to remind them of their three-year lease deadline in 2021. However, after not being able to find a suitable site to relocate, the HKSTP agreed to SSID’s request for an extended lease until the end of 2022.

This final offer six-month grace period is aimed at striking a balance amongst stake holders and the long-term development of INNOPARK. Mil Mill, however, has yet to formally accept the offer, as reported by the South China Morning Post on Sept. 30.

Additionally, the EPD has also reached out to Mil Mill to provide three short term tenancy sites in EcoPark, so that they may continue to provide recycling services in Hong Kong. Mil Mill may need more time to find a suitable location for their practice and the EPD said they will continue to share tenancy sites as they become available.

A spokesperson for the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) said recycling arrangements will also be made for cartons in the absence of dedicated recycling factories.

In a Sept. 29 government press release, the EPD said it has already made long-term arrangements on the recycling of beverage cartons in Hong Kong. In 2020, the EPD began plans to build a large-scale modern pulping facility in Tuen Mun’s EcoPark, expected to begin operation in 2025. By 2025, the EPD said Hong Kong will possess the recycling capacity to process all locally collected beverage cartons.

To maintain local recycling capacities until the Tuen Mun recycling facility opens in 2025, the EPD is formulating additional recycling measures.

Existing wastepaper recycling plants will be able to turn beverage cartons into paper pulp, provided that they hold enough space for additional recycling equipment.

The department is also arranging contractors to produce paper pulp with all the beverage cartons collected at the GREEN@COMMUNITY facilities.

Regarding legislation, the government plans to submit the bill of producer responsibility schemes on plastic and paper beverage packaging to request that beverage manufacturers take up the responsibility of collecting and recycling both types of beverage packaging to build a full recycling chain.

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