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First plastic bag conviction recorded

December 01, 2016

A grocery store owner who failed to charge for plastic shopping bags provided at the time of sale was fined $5,000 today by Kwun Tong Magistracy.


The Environmental Protection Department said this was the first criminal case since the plastic bag charging scheme was fully implemented last year.


Department officers issued fixed-penalty notices to the store owner last December and February for failing to charge customers for the plastic bags provided, and for offering a rebate to offset the charge.


The department decided to prosecute after officers found the store failed to comply with the requirement again during an inspection in July.


Officers have conducted more than 71,000 inspections at retail points since plastic bag charging was fully implemented.


So far 302 fixed-penalty notices have been issued to non-abiding retailers.


Under the Product Eco-responsibility Ordinance, retailers must charge customers at least 50 cents for each plastic shopping bag provided for the sale of goods, except when there is an exemption.


It is also against the law to only state the plastic bag’s price without actually collecting the charge or providing a rebate.


The department called on the public to report illegal distribution of plastic shopping bags.

Waste Reduction