an affluent and developed society such as Hong Kong, environmental
issues are rightfully among the top concerns of the community.
Since the air we breathe and water we drink directly affect
our health, the concerns voiced on these areas are often
louder than those on waste management, which is an equally
important and perhaps even more imminent problem. Unless
we change our consumption-led lifestyle, our landfills will
be rapidly filled up in 6 to 10 years. It is clearly not
sustainable to keep throwing all our waste to the landfills.
A viable set of solutions is high on the agenda of the Government
and the community as a whole.
It is therefore
my pleasure to publish "A Policy Framework for the
Management of Municipal Solid Waste (2005-2014)" at
this opportune time. This Policy Framework advocates what
we plan to do to tackle our waste problem head-on. Its core
message is clear and simple: we must be responsible for
what we consume and what we dispose of. We must all be responsible
for avoiding, reducing, reusing, recycling and treating
waste, and use our landfills as a final repository only
for the unavoidable waste after waste treatment.
True to our belief
in "big market, small government" the Policy Framework
proposes simple, yet effective, economic tools based on
the "polluter-pays" principle that would create
incentives for us all to recycle more and throw less. They
include measures tried and proven effective in other jurisdictions.
We ask you to help make such waste reduction decisions that
make sound economic and environmental sense.
We sincerely invite
you all to thoroughly discuss and comment on the initiatives
and milestones set out in the Policy Framework. Only with
your full support can we turn this Policy Framework into
reality. We must work together to tackle our waste problem
now so that our future generations will not be burdened
with cleaning up the mess we leave behind.
Dr Sarah Liao, JP
Secretary for the Environment, Transport