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Waste levy will not deter rich citizens


Friends of the Earth has proposed that the cost of disposing of refuse under any government waste charge scheme should be HK$1.30 a bag. It estimates that a typical family would pay HK$40 a month.

The purpose of the waste charging scheme is to reduce the amount of solid waste generated in Hong Kong, as this is causing problems for our landfills, which are nearing capacity.

The proposed charge may appear to be the solution to the problem, but I do not think it would be a fair levy.

Everyone will have to pay the same flat rate and this will do little to deter people on high incomes. The average cost of HK$40 means nothing to them and it will not encourage them to generate less refuse.

It would also be of no consequence to organisations that are huge polluters.

However, it will be a financial burden for families on low incomes.

That amount would be the cost of a typical meal for them. I am sure all of us want to see a reduction in the volume of solid waste that Hong Kong creates. Surely, those people who are the worst polluters should pay a higher levy.

Hong Kong is very much a money-minded society.

We need a scheme that gives people an economic inducement to cut back on the waste they produce.

I am also concerned that unless a better scheme is introduced, we will actually see an increase in cases of illegal dumping of solid waste in Hong Kong.

This is obviously a serious issue which must be addressed effectively.

I hope that the government can come up with a better policy to deal with the environmental problems being caused by the levels of waste presently generated in Hong Kong.

Lai Sin-yi, Sha Tin

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