Environmental Levy Scheme on Plastic Shopping Bags - Environmental Levy Scheme

Environmental Levy Scheme

Riding on the broad-based public support, the Product Eco-responsibility Ordinance (Cap. 603) (the Ordinance) was enacted in July 2008. The Ordinance is a piece of "framework" legislation that provides a legal basis for implementing producer responsibility schemes in Hong Kong. The environmental levy scheme on plastic shopping bags (the Levy Scheme) is the first scheme to be implemented under the Ordinance.

The objective of the Levy Scheme is to provide a direct economic incentive to encourage the public to switch to reusable shopping bags with a view to reducing the indiscriminate use of plastic shopping bags. The Product Eco-responsibility (Plastic Shopping Bags) Regulation (the Regulation) which sets out the implementation details of the Levy Scheme, was approved by the Legislative Council on 23 April 2009.  The commencement notices for both the Ordinance and Regulation have been posted on Gazette published on 30 April 2009.

The Levy Scheme came into operation on 7 July 2009. Under the Levy Scheme, registered retailers are no longer allowed to provide free plastic shopping bags; and they must charge their customers an environmental levy for each plastic shopping bag they ask for.

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