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, , - Posted on April 05, 2019

Bakeries hand out 267 million plastic bags, Green Earth says

While levies and campaigns have cut the use of plastic at least in some of the shops in Hong Kong, one sector has steadily moved in the opposite direction, RTHK reports.

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According to an environmental group, Green Earth, most of the bakeries in Hong Kong are handing out an excessive amount of plastic bags – about three bags for each purchase.

It said the use of plastic bags by bakeries increased since the introduction of the levy. In 2017, bakeries used more than 267 million bags – up by 2 percent from 2009 and despite an overall drop of 5.6 percent in the total number of plastic bags handed out.
The Secretary for the Environment, Wong Kam-sing, has said that the government will review the 50 HK cent charge per bag introduced in 2009. He said authorities will study the levy and the exemptions granted to certain shops.

Under current rules, non-sealed items such as bread do not come under the levy.
Green Earth's founder Edwin Lau says bakeries use more plastic bags as items wrapped in plastic are then put into another one.

He told RTHK's Altis Wong that the government should consider extending the levy to cover additional bags given by bakeries.

Photo: RTHK

Article originally posted in Greenearth HK.

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