Another Island Working to Limit Plastic Bags
Another island in Asia is doing its bit to clean up its fragile environment, with Hong Kong (okay so not all of HK is an island) introducing legislation that requires many retailers to charge for plastic bags. This is expected to be a major deterrent for shoppers to take bags with expectations of curbing consumption. The use of recycled bags and reusable ones is already seeing wide use.
Formally known as the Product Eco-responsibility Ordinance this is only a first phase with other initiatives in the works for recycling of old electrical products and appliances. Speaking to a friend we mused that when you buy mobile phones, items like chargers and batteries often have unique specifications and are rendered useless once you purchase a newer model. Recycling of these is one answer but also raising universal standards to manufacturers is more worthy since it addresses the problem at the point of origin.
Driving around Phuket I remain stunned by the number of plastic bags thrown by the road and just one trip to Lotus or Central can produce a double digit proliferation of bags. Hong Kong is setting a good example on effective legislation that could become a great example for Thailand or even on a provincial level.