Hong Kong’s proposed levies on glass and plastic beverage containers

20 June 2022

In August 2021, Hong Kong passed a bill to charge for municipal solid waste to encourage consumers and businesses to reduce waste. There are plans to implement these charges in the second half of 2023. There may be implications for Australian suppliers.

Proposed levies on glass and plastic beverage containers

The Hong Kong Government is mapping out its regulatory framework for levies on glass and plastic beverage containers.

The two regulations are the:

  • Producer Responsibility Scheme for Glass Beverage Bottles (GPRS)
  • Producer Responsibility Scheme for Plastic Beverage Containers (PPRS).

After these waste reduction regulations are adopted, distributors may look for products with simpler packaging from Australian suppliers.

More information on these two schemes can be found at municipal solid waste charging, GPRS and PPRS.

Producer Responsibility Scheme for Glass Beverage Bottles (GPRS)

The Hong Kong Government completed a public consultation of GPRS in 2013. The scheme will be vetted in 2022 and potentially rolled out in 2023.

The GPRS requires suppliers to register with the Environmental Production Department (EPD) before distributing beverages. The EPD requires registered suppliers to report on the number of glass containers they have distributed and pay a levy accordingly. The proposed levy is around HK$1 per one-litre glass beverage bottle. The levy may be adjusted depending on the cost of glass recycling.

Overseas beverage suppliers coming to Hong Kong for short-term exhibitions may be exempted from full registration with the EPD. They must give prior notification to the Director of Environmental Protection when they provide glass-bottled beverages as samples or gifts.

Producer Responsibility Scheme for Plastic Beverage Containers (PPRS)

Under the proposed PPRS, distributors will pay a recycling levy of up to HK$0.65 per 500 ml plastic-bottle. Plastic-bottled beverages must include designated recycling logos. Suppliers should register these products with the HK Government.

Hong Kong has rolled out pilot plans to collect empty plastic beverage containers. Consumers and suppliers can return empty plastic beverage containers at designated collection points. The Hong Kong Government will provide a flat rate or HK$0.10 rebate per container regardless of container size.

There is no precise timeframe for full implementation of the plastic container levy. The Hong Kong Government completed a public consultation in May 2021 to further map out the levy’s regulatory framework and get it ready for bill passing at the Legislative Council.

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