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HK sees drop in environmental offenses amidst higher penalty levels

Littering FPNs decreased by over 30%.

Hong Kong has seen a notable decline in environmental hygiene offenses following the implementation of higher penalty levels, said Deputy Chief Secretary Cheuk Wing-hing.

Effective since 22 October 2023, fines for littering and shopfront extensions have doubled, leading to a drop in fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued.

Comparing data from the six months before and after the new penalties took effect, enforcement agencies reported a decrease of over 30% in FPNs issued for littering, totalling approximately 15,000 cases. 

FPNs for shopfront extensions and illegal waste disposal also saw an 80% reduction to around 630 cases during the same period.

Cheuk said that these results demonstrate the deterrent impact of the increased penalties, contributing to a cleaner cityscape.

Looking ahead, the government plans to introduce legislative amendments and administrative measures aimed at further enhancing enforcement efficiency.

The upcoming legislative changes will include provisions requiring cooperation from premises under investigation and penalties for violations affecting public health, such as water seepage and "garbage apartments." 

The Environment and Ecology Bureau is alson currently drafting the legislation, expected to be presented to the Legislative Council later this year.

Moreover, Cheuk highlighted significant improvements in hygiene conditions at 90% of identified environmental trouble spots over the past two years.

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