Phase-One Ban on Single-Use Plastics at Restaurants to be Delayed: Report
by: The Beat Asia
October 17, 2023
The Hong Kong government will delay the proposed ban on plastic utensils at restaurants to the second quarter of 2024, around three to six months later than previously planned, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported on Oct. 13, citing authorities.
In April 2022, the Council for Sustainable Development recommended barring the use, sale, and free distribution of single-use plastic tableware and products at restaurants, bars, hotels, and public venues. The ban was initially set in two phases over a three-year period.
The first phase bars the use of expanded polystyrene (EPS) tableware, and small-sized and hard-to-recycle disposable plastic tableware, with a full implementation in “late 2023 or early 2024.” The second phase extends the ban on disposable plastic tableware like cups, cup lids, food containers, and food container covers to takeaway services. The timing of phase two would depend on non-plastic alternatives.
However, a spokeswoman for the Environment and Ecology Bureau said phase one would be rolled out to the second quarter of next year to make way for the six-month preparation period after the passage of the bill, adding that the exact implementation date would be determined later, according to the SCMP report. The government, in the meantime, would conduct a public information campaign during the gap period.
The Amendment Bill containing the proposed measures is due for second and third readings in the Legislative Council this week.
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