Based on the legislation of the waste system, there are three main types of environmental policy making categories in Hong Kong (Hong Kong) and the European Union (EU) are compared. The three major categories were command and control regulation, market-based instruments and voluntary regulation respectively.
Solid waste causing different kinds of pollution, especially the environment, for example the solid waste would be released serious odor and sulfur dioxide if cannot handle properly. Solid waste coming a worldwide problem.
Therefore, it recommended reduce solid waste and handle it properly.
Waste management of legislation on HK and EU, there are setting recycling targets for waste system. Member states shall achieve following targets, re-use and recycling of waste materials to minimum of overall 50% by weight and other material such as demolition waste to minimum of 70% by weigh by 2020. (Construction industry council, 2017). For overall target of HK, it is reducing the municipal solid waste (MSW) by 20% on a per capita basis by 2017 and by 40% on a per capita basis by 2022.
(Environment Bureau, 2013)
The Council for Sustainable Development (SDC) to conduct a public engagement to gauge views on how to implement MSW charging in Hong Kong. Namely, ‘charging by designated garbage bags’ and ‘charging by weight’. The first one used for the residential buildings, commercial and industrial buildings. The second one used for commercial and industrial premises, oversized waste or irregular in shape. Transferring by private waste collectors. The public or private need to purchase and use the ‘’designated garbage bags’’, costing about HKD 0.
11 per litre and oversized waste about HKD 11 for each. And all oversized waste must be labelling. The charging would be implemented this year the earliest. (EPD, 2018)
Although the MSW charging has not been implement in Hong Kong, but general solid waste collection as list as below at present. Waste collector is pack-up to refuse collection points (RCPs) for temporary storage. Waste at RCP will be collected by refuse collection vehicles (RCVs) and RCVs will follow its collection route it refuses transfer station (RTS). Contravening the law would be cause fine and imprisonment.
For the Producer responsibility schemes (PRS), there have two major schemes, plastic shopping bags and waste electrical and electronic equipment PRS (WPRS) respectively. Glass beverage containers also would be implemented in the future.
First, the plastic shopping bag charging scheme was fully implementation in April 1, 2015 in Hong Kong and March 2020 in EU. All point of retail sales is subject to regulation. The economic incentives method which plastic bags charged at 50 cents (HK) and a 0.15 Euro tax (EU) each could be encouraged public bring their own bag. Reusing as many shopping bags as possible can reduce the consumption of plastic materials.
In comparison, the legislative on end-of-life vehicles (2000/53/EU), the aims to reduce the amount of waste from end-of-life vehicles. Disassembling and recycling it’s more environmentally friendly. At the main point, Hong Kong has not implemented in the present.
Approach of an economic tool, Hong Kong also has many funded projects, such as recycling fund which the enterprise support programme(ESP) and the industry support programme(ISP). ESP provides support the recycling industry and promote markets for recycled produce in Hong Kong. The company can also enhance operation through funding.
Both legislation of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE 2012/19/EU), and Hong Kong are waste electrical and electronic equipment PRS (WPRS) to prevent the generation of electrical waste, promote the reuse and recycling of materials and substances, for example air-conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators, televisions, computers, printers, scanners, monitors. While, the EU legislation also includes mobile phone, digital cameras and electronic game consoles of recycling program. It is because most of these products will be easier to reuse in the secondary commercial market that Hong Kong may not include.
According to the EPD in Hong Kong and waste framework directive of EU, there are also charged of landfill tax including construction and demolition waste.
Mentioned by EPD, as the below figure mentioned about the charging of public fill reception facilities, sorting facilities, landfills and outlying islands transfer facilities. In order to have a sustainable solution to the solid waste, as the landfill becoming saturated (West New Territories (WENT) Landfill, South East New Territories (SENT) Landfill and North East New Territories (NENT)), the first incinerator will be implemented at Shek Kwu Chau.
In contrast, the solid waste legislation of EU are more specific and targeted methods to reducing it. The following legislation only implemented on EU.
The EU Directive (94/32/EC) on Packaging and Packaging Waste is limiting some heavy metal in packaging and minimization of packaging volume and weight. That can use of recycling it and more environmentally friendly.
Besides, pay as you throw (PAYT) programs (also known as unit pricing or variable-rate pricing), it is based by the amount and type of waste that they throw away to determine the tax. This create a direct economic incentive and equity method. That they less to throw garbage, they less to pay tax. Each of different community can cover the solid waste cost, for example incineration and recycling tax.
Also, emissions trading is under not exceed the allowable emissions. The companies could adjust the amount of pollutants discharge through transaction to achieve less pollution.
Furthermore, based on bio intelligence service (2012) research, there are only six EU member states were found to have incineration taxes. Charged from €46 in the CZ to €174 in DE of one tone. The taxes have devised in two parts which a levy giving by public authorities and by the operator who service the incineration.
By establishing legal marketable pollution rights which are economic incentives. Choosing between pollution reduction and paying tax, it solves between environmental protection and economic development and promote environmental protection industry. On top of that, all the charging could be changes behavior and leads people to cut down on waste.
Both of HK and EU, collaborate with the public voluntary, industry commitments and district councils.
Waste reduction and Eco park group EPD,(2012) mentioned that EPD has established the community recycling network (CRN) to promote reduction MSD and re-use it, (1) community recycling centers for neighboring residents (2) promotion vehicles at a busy locations (3) the school main targets to enhance student knowledge of recycling (4) non-government organization (NGO) collection points. Also, the HK government promote the “4R” principle. It is an important concept of solid management system.
Both of two legislation, the objective to encourage public participation in waste recycling and separation, installing 3-coloured recycling bins to separate collection of recyclables in public areas, the common recyclable materials including plastic bottles, aluminum cans, papers and so on. On the other hand, EU has product design and labelling, through the EU Ecolabel (Council Directive 94/62/EC). With professional experts after consultation, the EU Ecolabel was meeting high environmental and performance standards through the life cycle. Ecolabel helps company and service gain recognition for good standards, while helping customers to purchase better products. Based on EU ecolabel logo guidance, the logo’s style, size, license number and location on packaging has standards.
Under EU law by directive (2003/4/EC), the objective of the directive is ensuring public can be access to environmental information. Disclosure of information can be increase public participation and is direct affect lives and make a good decision for their actions.
Mostly Hong Kong government was adopted foreign countries as a main of waste management system. However, the MSW disposal rate has still increased per year and is higher than of other Asian cities. It is because public has less practice and knowledge about waste separation and recycling lead to waste recovery is no significant increase. Also, the government still have not right incentives to encourage the public reduce of waste. The lack of convenient waste collection system that public would not participation. It seems that Hong Kong’s waste pollution is an urgent situation.
To sum up, Hong Kong government could imitate EU and other country of waste system to prevent and reduce waste at source.