Plastic bag distribution drops

March 30, 2023

After the implementation of the Enhanced Plastic Shopping Bag Charging Scheme on December 31, 2022, the number of plastic shopping bags distributed by major retailers dropped significantly in the first two months this year, the Environmental Protection Department said today.


According to major retail groups, including major supermarket chains and convenience stores, the overall distribution of plastic shopping bags (excluding flat-top bags) dropped by over 60% from January to February compared to the same period last year, and the distribution of flat-top bags by major supermarket chains fell by more than 80%.


The department said it is pleased to see that the enhanced scheme is effective in reducing plastic bag distribution and hopes the public and retailers can continue to go plastic-free.


It had reached out to different types of retailers, especially small retail outlets and market stalls, to promote and introduce the enhancement measures. In January and February, departmental staff visited about 27,600 retail shops, including about 14,200 market stalls.


Meanwhile, publicity work such as TV and radio Announcements in the Public Interest, posters, leaflets, advertisements on public transport, online advertisements and a designated webpage have been rolled out.


Departmental staff also inspected about 4,100 retail points and issued seven verbal warnings. So far, no fixed penalty notice has been issued due to non-compliance with the scheme’s latest requirements.


To assess the effectiveness of the scheme, the department will continue to monitor the plastic shopping bag disposal rate and observe the usage of plastic bags at retail points.

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