Upgraded bag charge working well

February 8, 2023

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) today said the enhanced Plastic Shopping Bag Charging Scheme has been running smoothly since it was launched on December 31 last year.


The department reached this conclusion following inspections of about 650 supermarkets and food stores in Hong Kong.


It noted that more than 90% of the inspected stores had put up posters to remind customers of the measures under the enhanced scheme.


Over 99% of the stores did not provide flat-top bags at the places where they sold fruits and vegetables or chilled/frozen food items for customers to take.


For the remaining few stores that allowed customers to pick up flat-top bags, most of them had reminders on the flat-top bag charge and exemption circumstances.


When customers purchased packaged frozen/chilled food items, cashiers did not proactively provide flat-top bags, and only about 12% of such customers said that they needed the bags.


Moreover, 85% of customers brought their own shopping bags or carried the products in their hands.


As at January 31, EPD staff inspected about 1,800 retail outlets and issued seven verbal warnings. The one-month adaptation period of the enhancement measures ended on January 30 and enforcement action will be taken against non-compliant retailers.


On publicity, the department has deployed staff to visit about 11,000 retail outlets to introduce the enhancement measures to retailers. A dedicated webpage has been set up on the enhanced scheme.

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