Submission to the Legislative Council Subcommittee on Promotion of Recycling and Proper Disposal (Electrical Equipment and Electronic Equipment) (Amendment) Ordinance 2016 (Commencement) Notice 2017

23 May 2017
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1.    The Consumer Council (CC) is pleased to provide views on the Promotion of Recycling and Proper Disposal (Electrical Equipment and Electronic Equipment) (Amendment) Ordinance 2016 (Commencement) Notice 2017 and Product Eco-Responsibility (Regulated Electrical Equipment) Regulation. 

2.    CC supports the implementation of collection of old or obsolete regulated electrical equipment by licensed recyclers so that they can be reused or recycled instead of disposing in our landfill sites. Although mechanisms such as record keeping and audit reports are required, they should be strictly monitored to ensure the collected products are properly disposed of in sustainable manners and not be transported elsewhere, or poorly handled within Hong Kong. 

3.    Consumers should be well informed of the availability of service for removal of an old product at no extra charge to the consumers upon delivery of the newly purchased product. However, they should also be made to understand that they may keep the old product if they want.

4.    It is also anticipated that some consumers might be concerned about disposal of old products of types covered by the Producer Responsibility Scheme (PRS) but without the recycling labels, e.g. old products retained by consumers or purchased second-hand. Consumers should be informed of the fact that recycling labels are required only for the newly purchased regulated electrical equipment (REE) but not for the old products to be disposed of.

5.    Proper disposal of e-waste requires all stakeholders, from government, manufacturers, suppliers to consumers, to have a proper understanding of their respective roles and responsibilities. Territory-wide publicity campaign will have to be in place so that consumers will know what to do and co-operate for proper disposal of old products included under the Product Eco-Responsibility (Regulated Electrical Equipment) Regulation.

6.    Continued efforts should be made to encourage the community to practise waste reduction and proper e-waste disposal in everyday life.