ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

EPD rolls out Reverse Vending Machine pilot scheme

Citizens will receive a $0.1 rebate for each beverage container returned.

Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has launched a one-year Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) pilot scheme that provides an instant $0.1 rebate for each plastic beverage container returned.

Payments are made through e-payment platforms, and these platforms will allow up to 30 transactions per day.

The pilot scheme will see 60 RVMs set up in various locations in different phases. Currently, 40 RVMs are in service, with the remaining 20 ones to be installed soon.

Citizens may opt to donate the rebate—with no daily limit imposed—to charities such as the Community Chest, the Scout Association of Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong Girl Guides Association.

The EPD has also released a consultation paper on the Producer Responsibility Scheme on Plastic Beverage Containers (PPRS) for the best way of managing waste plastic beverage containers, which consultation period will run for three months or until 21 May.

“As one of the key waste reduction measures, the proposed PPRS requires the relevant stakeholders to jointly share the environmental responsibilities of collecting and treating plastic beverage containers to minimise their impact on the environment,” an announcement read.

Pursuant to the “polluter pays” principle, the PPRS outlines a recycling levy that will be “collected at the beverage supplier level (including manufacturers and importers) to help recover the operation costs of the scheme.”

Suggestions include having retail stores which sell plastic-bottled beverages as collection points the public can turn to when returning used plastic beverage containers.

“The plastic beverage containers collected will then be supplied to local recyclers for proper recycling, turning the containers into marketable recycled materials,” adds the EPD, noting the proposed PPRS also includes the provision of rebates as a form of encouragement for the general public.

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