The Environmental Protection Department (“EPD”) issued a consultation paper on “Regulation of Disposable Plastic Tableware” on 9 July (the “Consultation Paper”).
The Consultation Paper sets out a proposed scheme to control disposable expanded polystyrene (“EPS”) tableware by banning the local sale of disposable EPS tableware and the provision of EPS tableware at catering premises to customers. For the non-EPS disposable plastic tableware, under the proposal they would be regulated in two phases - the first phase consists of banning the provision of all types of disposable plastic tableware at catering premises to customers for dine-in services and the provision of straws, stirrers, forks, knives, spoons and plates to customers for takeaway services. In the second phase, takeaway services are to be regulated in the same manner as dine-in services.
The Council, with the assistance of the Land Use Planning and Environmental Law Committee (“Committee”), considered the Consultation Paper. The Council in principle strongly supported the introduction of legislation to regulate disposable plastic tableware. It also agreed that the Regulation Schemes as proposed should cover all types of disposable tableware listed in the Consultation Paper. The Council in addition asked that all measures proposed in the Consultation should be implemented by the date the EPD now canvassed for the first phase, i.e. in around 2025.
The above views together with other comments were set out in a submission which was sent to the EPD in September. This submission can be found on the Law Society’s website: