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MEELS Now Extends to 5 Categories Types of Electrical Product; E-Waste Disposal under WPRS
Sustainable consumption refers to a consumption pattern that seeks to enhance the quality of life while minimizing its negative impact on the environment. Reducing energy consumption and promoting recycling are both good practices of sustainable consumption. The third phase of the Mandatory Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme (MEELS) has already been fully implemented, and its coverage has been extended to 5 additional types of electrical products including televisions and induction cookers, etc. On the recycling front, the Producer Responsibility Scheme on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WPRS) covering 8 regulated electrical equipment (REE) has also been implemented in August 2018.
The third phase of MEELS has been fully implemented
The use of energy-efficient appliances can not only save energy, but also help reduce greenhouse gases and other air pollutants emitted during power generation. To further raise public awareness on energy saving and facilitate the public in choosing energy-efficient products, the Government has introduced the third phase of MEELS through the Energy Efficiency (Labeling of Products) Ordinance (Cap. 598) in June 2018. After an 18-month grace period, the third phase of MEELS has been fully implemented in December 2019.
5 types of electrical products are covered under the third phase
The third phase of MEELS covers 5 types of electrical products, namely televisions, storage type electric water heaters, induction cookers, room air conditioners (with both heating and cooling functions) and washing machines (with a rated washing capacity of more than 7 kg but not exceeding 10 kg). The cooling function of room air conditioners and washing machines with a rated washing capacity of not exceeding 7 kg have already been covered in the first and second phases, respectively. Manufacturers or importers are required to affix energy labels on the prescribed products in a specified format for supply in Hong Kong. Local suppliers (including wholesalers and retailers) are not allowed to sell the prescribed products without reference numbers and energy labels.
According to the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD), with the full implementation of the third phase, MEELS is expected to help consumers save about 600 million kilowatt hours a year, equivalent to a reduction of 420,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. For more details of MEELS, please visit the www.emsd.gov.hk/energylabel.
Producer Responsibility Scheme on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WPRS)
WPRS aims to promote recycling and proper disposal of waste electrical and electronic products and covers 8 types of regulated electrical equipment (REE), including room air-conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, televisions, computers, printers, scanners and monitors. Suppliers of REE (including manufacturers and importers), sellers and consumers should pay attention to the following requirements and arrangements:
Suppliers — are required to register with the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) and pay a recycling levy (ranging from HK$15 to HK$165 per item) for REE distributed in Hong Kong. They are also required to provide sellers recycling labels to identify REE distributed under the WPRS.
Sellers – must arrange for statutory removal service free of charge for consumers upon request. They must also provide consumers with appropriate recycling labels and receipts with prescribed wording about the recycling levy payable by the registered suppliers.
Consumers – should obtain the recycling labels from sellers when purchasing REE. Consumers can affix the labels to the relevant new equipment, or keep them together with the receipts, so that consumers can return the equipment together with the labels if returns are necessary. Consumers normally can enjoy a free removal service if they make such requests within 3 days of purchasing new REE. Upon such requests, sellers would arrange removal services of waste equipment of the same type and quantity from the consumers’ premises. The waste equipment will then be sent to licensed recyclers for proper treatment, and turning waste into resources. Consumers should keep the old equipment clean and tidy for collection.
Even if consumers do not purchase any new REE, they can still dispose of the old REE for free by calling EPD’s Collection Hotline (2676 8888) for free door-to-door collection services. For details of WPRS and other recycling channels, please visit the https://weee.gov.hk/