Hong Kong throws away 43,000 tonnes of drink cartons each year. There are two types of drink carton: one comprises paper, plastic and aluminium; the other comprises paper and plastic only. All the materials are recyclable and drink cartons are recycled in many places. For example, Japan, Taiwan and mainland China have recycling rates of 45%, 30% and 10%, respectively. Yet, none are recycled in Hong Kong; all are dumped in landfills. This is a waste of useful resources, and accelerates exhaustion of landfill space, intensifying the waste problem.
Hong Kong has yet to implement any drink carton recycling campaigns due to lack of technology, facilities and economic incentive. Therefore, Green Power is holding Hong Kong's first large-scale trial campaign on drink carton recycling, to let the public know that cartons are recyclable and prove it’s feasible in Hong Kong.
Green Power urges the government to implement a comprehensive Producer Responsibility Scheme covering all beverage containers and food packaging. Meanwhile, recycling becomes more important as “Municipal Solid Waste Charging” will soon be implemented. Producers should take up the responsibility, and recycle their products at once, despite the absence of legislation. Otherwise, the costs of waste handling will be further passed on to citizens.