According to reports in local media, Hong Kong's Legislative Council has passed regulations regarding charges for plastic bags offered in local retail stores.
With effect from July 7, 2009, the regulations state that some 2,000 retail stores in Hong Kong should charge HKD0.5 for each plastic bag provided to consumers. The government plans to register retailers covered by the regulations; and these retailers include supermarkets, convenience stores, and personal care products shops.
The regulations, which are regarded as beneficial for environmental protection, have gained wide support from the members of the Legislative Council.
Edward Yau, the secretary of the Environment Bureau of Hong Kong, said that Hong Kong is facing a serious problem in dealing with solid wastes. The implementation of the environmental levy scheme is an important cornerstone for the sustainable waste management strategy.
Yau said a recent opinion poll showed that over 90% of Hong Kong residents agreed with reducing the use of plastic bags and 80% said they would actively support the environmental levy scheme to handle the abuse of plastic bags. Yau believed with the cooperation of the entire society, the problem caused by the abuse of plastic bags will be solved and bring-your-own shopping bags will become a part of Hong Kong people's green life.