Full Implementation of Environmental Levy on Plastic Shopping Bags Starts 1 April 2015
27 March 2015
To reduce the use of plastic shopping bags (PSBs) and mitigate the burden on landfills in Hong Kong, the Environmental Levy Scheme on Plastic Shopping Bags (the PSB Levy Scheme) was introduced in July 2009. Customers are encouraged to bring their own bags to shopping.
Under the first phase of the PSB Levy Scheme, an environmental levy of 50 cents is to be charged for each PSB provided to customers by registered retail outlets. These registered outlets include supermarkets, convenience stores and medicare and cosmetics store. Registeredoutlets are required to remit the levies collected to the Government periodically.
Following an almost five-year transition period, full implementation of the PSB Levy Scheme will take effect on 1 April 2015 and will carry the following changes:
- Ban on free PSB distribution in all points of retail sales
- Exclusion of PSB use for food hygiene reasons
- Flat-top bags will be subject to regulation
- Retention of the PSB charges by sellers