Effectiveness of the Environmental Levy Scheme on Plastic Shopping Bags

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I have chosen this subject on the footing that this strategy is the first step in the Product Eco-Responsibility Scheme, therefore by reexamining its effectivity I can give suggestions sing successful factors and countries for betterment on farther strategies of similar nature. ( Part 1 ) Besides, as the contention on building measure for an incinerator in Hong Kong is hot these yearss, it has interested me to measure other options to cut down waste production, utilizing the analysis in Part 1. ( Part 2 )

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I am interested in the subject Investigatethe effectivity of the Environmental Levy Scheme on Plastic Shopping Bags and Give suggestions on alternate solutions to saturating landfills within 5 old ages as late debates on the urgency and essentialness of constructing an incinerator in Hong Kong are boiling hot in Hong Kong. As an eco-friendly individual, I am profoundly concerned that all landfills in Hong Kong are estimated to run into impregnation by 2019, ciphering by the current waste production rate. [ one ] Coincidentally, the PSB strategy was come ining the 2nd stage on 1stApril 2015 and is another hot eco subject this twelvemonth. From analysis on Hong Kong Connection ( Television programme produced by RTHK ) , it inspired me this PSB strategy may supply some penetrations into how godforsaken decrease plants and what the pros and cons are of using fiscal deterrence. Based on rating of the PSB strategy, I can give suggestions on alternate solutions of waste decrease.

Environmental Levy Scheme on Plastic Bags is the taxing of fictile bag of $ 0.5 per bag. It is the first strategy under the Producer Responsibility Scheme under the Environmental Protection Department. In the first stage 7 July 2009 – 31 March 2015, about 3000 retail mercantile establishments were covered. In the full execution stage get downing 1 April 2015, all retail mercantile establishments ( more than 100,000 points of retail gross revenues ) in Hong Kong are covered. [ two ]

Aims and expected results

There are two chief aims in this survey:

  1. To measure the successful factors and countries for betterment of the PSB program and
  2. To give recommendations on future waste decrease strategies utilizing the experience learnt from the PSB program.

By informations aggregation and analysis, I expect to derive the undermentioned results: the existent consequences of the PSB strategy, the grounds people support or boycott the strategy, governmental communicating with the public regarding waste production, the standards for a successful eco- strategy in the public’s eyes and the relation of instruction and publicity to effectiveness.

Focus Questions

The focal point inquiries sing the subject include:

  • What is the current state of affairs of Plastic Shopping Bag Levy? How effectual is it in cut downing plastic waste?
  • How do citizens measure the effectivity of the PSB Levy?
  • What are the benefits of the PSB Levy to HK’s environment?
  • What harm or inharmoniousness will PSB Levy bring to HK?
  • What can we reason from the current state of affairs on the effectivity of the PSB Levy? What elements can therefore be used to do future environmental policy more effectual?


Questionnaire study Field observation
Targets and sample size General populace

218 respondents

1. Vanguard Supermarket

2. Welcome Supermarket

3.ParknShop Supermarket

Time period Jan-Mar 2015 Apr-Jun 2015
Oxygenbjectives 1. Effectiveness of PSB strategy

2. Public position on waste decrease

3. Suggestions for future steps

Actual consequence of the PSB strategy by taging the figure of plastic bags used
Thymineools 1. Questionnaire in print in individual ( appendix 1 )

2. E-survey by SurveyMonkey

Personal observation and record in words
Tocopherolxpected jobs 1. The respondents may be largely pupils

2. The replies may be subjective and may non show the existent state of affairs

1. There are variables such as the topographic point affect the PSB use

2. There may be particular instances like utilizing plastic bags that are non capable to PSB strategy

Solutions To guarantee that the analysis in the survey is nonsubjective, I would reexamine adept sentiments and other literature when interpretation consequences 1.Do the observation in assorted topographic points to avoid the job

2. Record other important findings

Rationale for utilizing this method By using a large sample, I can hold more in-depth and multi-perspective penetrations into the PSB scheme’s effectivity, besides public sentiments on future waste decrease strategies. It gives the most nonsubjective and representative position on the plastic bag usage decrease.


The PSB strategy was to a big extent successful in conveying plastic bag waste production. The distribution of PSB in retail mercantile establishments has reduced by 90 % since the launch of the PSB strategy in 2009. [ three ] It was estimated that 84 million PSB was distributed in 2009, therefore it has decreased to 8.4 million about uptil now. [ four ]

From the questionnaire study, the bulk of 80 % respondents said they would non utilize PSB while merely a minority of 20 % said they would. It shows the effectivity of the PSB strategy. From the field observation, the PSB distribution is a low 5 % per hr. [ 5 ] The figure of PSB distributed in supermarkets has decreased to 403, harmonizing to a study conducted by Green Action. [ six ] The authorities has attributed the alteration to the increasing public consciousness of Bring Your Own Bag promoted by the PSB strategy. [ seven ] Therefore, the PSB strategy has succeeded to convey down PSB distribution and raise eco-awareness.

The PSB strategy is successful in conveying down PSB use and raising eco-awareness, as mentioned in Harmonizing to the questionnaire study, 57 % and 39 % of respondents said they choose non to claim PSB because they don’t want to pay the $ 0.5 charge and that they are eco-friendly. This shows that one of the successful factors of the strategy is the fiscal deterrence, as Hong Kong people are money-conscious. [ eight ] This besides shows that the PSB strategy has raised public consciousness towards their eco attitude.

The elements that made the PSB strategy successful can give mention to future waste decrease strategies. First, fiscal deterrence is effectual in detering waste production, therefore this component should be kept. Besides, another successful factor is advancing positive value such as Bring Your Own Bag, as public consciousness has been raised in the PSB strategy. [ nine ]

Despite the obvious effectivity, there is still room for betterments for the PSB strategy. The cons of the PSB strategy include the little sum of levy non being endangering plenty and the trouble in supervising. Harmonizing to the questionnaire study, 70 % of respondents said they would utilize PSB as it is convenient and 65 % said the levy is low-cost. [ ten ] Thus, we see that possibly the levy should be increased to be more effectual. Besides, harmonizing to the field observation, some clients tend to purchase prepacked goods or take many storage bags with no hand-hold to avoid the levy. [ eleven ] Therefore, this shows that uneffective supervising would negatively impact the effectivity of the step.

The major job of the PSB strategy right now, concluded from the above, is the deep-seated public attitude. Hong Kong people are frequently money-minded and misanthropic, which may do them to ignore the PSB strategy for their personal involvement, such as avoiding the levy but still utilizing other plastic bags or misapplying recycling bags. [ twelve ] The chief issue to undertake in order to better future waste production strategies is how to alter the public attitude and promote correct values in the long tally.

The PSB strategy is the first strategy under the Producer Responsibility Scheme, therefore is the H2O examiner that indicates whether fiscal deterrence is effectual to cut down waste production. Its success reflected that Hong Kong people are really witting when something affects their personal involvement straight, such as extra fiscal load, hence future waste decrease strategy should still be focused on this failing of Hong Kong people ( fiscal deterrence ) . [ thirteen ] One back uping grounds is found in the questionnaire study. When asked to rank what are the precedences that urge them to back up a waste decrease strategy, most respondents ranked economical factor foremost, so personal factor. Unusually, they least value environmental factor and sustainability, demoing Hong Kong people are by and large more money-minded than eco-conscious. [ fourteen ] The deductions of this phenomenon are that fiscal deterrence is most suited for waste decrease in Hong Kong as fiscal concern is the greatest motivational power for Hongkongers to alter populating wonts, besides that future strategies should concentrate on presenting positive values such as the importance of eco-protection and sustainability in publicity and public instruction. [ fifteen ]

As discussed, the chief elements to be kept in farther strategies of waste decrease are fiscal disincentive and attempt to alter public attitude in altering life styles, besides their attacks to blow. [ xvi ] Based on the questionnaire findings, most respondents are supportive to the PSB strategy and see it a political and societal success. [ seventeen ] This besides showed that transparence of authorities steps and effectual downward communicating and public audience is of import, and should be continued in future waste decrease strategies. [ eighteen ]

As discussed in 3.1.3, the chief jobs of the PSB strategy are the hard-to-change public attitude and therefore their life wonts, besides non-threatening sum of levy and deficient supervising. Furthermore, most respondents think the Southern Cross of the waste production job are unequal environmental instruction, deficiency of publicity of authorities eco-schemes and the buy-and-throw wont of the comfortable city. [ nineteen ] These are jobs that future waste production strategy most desperately face.

In response to 3.2.2, hereby I would urge of import points for betterment with respect to the above jobs. First, when implementing waste decrease strategies, powerful fiscal deterrence should be enforced to react to Hong Kong people’s money-conscious mentality and comparatively smaller concern for the environment. [ twenty ] It is the lone manner to have biggest response from the populace and see alterations in their day-to-day life. Second, to undertake the supervising trouble, a study system by hotline can be opened to the populace to describe misdemeanor of the policy by either stores or the general populace. [ twenty-one ] This can do supervising more all-rounded. Third, instruction and publicity to indoctrinate correct and positive values is besides of import. As shown in the questionnaire findings, the public value economical concern over environmental concern, which is unhealthy and damaging to eco-protection. Thus, instruction and publicity is indispensable.

In order to happen out the most supported waste decrease strategies, I have asked respondents to rank policies that they regard as most effectual in cut downing waste. The study consequences show that policies affecting separation, recycling and levy are seen as most effectual, with the top being Source Separation of Domestic Waste, hiting 1580 in amounts. [ twenty-two ] This shows that the populace would back up waste decrease schemes that merely necessitate small changes in day-to-day life, such as family waste separation, or recycling and fiscal deterrence. This lucifer with the fact that their top concern is economical factor and second is personal factor when reacting to a waste decrease strategy. [ twenty-three ] In contrary, public sentiment do non back up policies affecting new landfills and incinerators, the bottom being opening up new landfill in current state Parkss, hiting merely 882 in entire. [ twenty-four ] This shows that the populace is least likely to back up waste decrease strategy that might be damaging to their life environment and wellness, or those that may utilize a big sum of authorities militias as it violates economic efficiency. This lucifer with their precedence list as they most value economical factor ( efficiency, personal load ) and personal factor ( impact to populating environment and wellness ) . This superior gives us of import and clear penetrations into which waies to travel and besides how best to accommodate public concerns and derive public support in waste decrease strategies.

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Effectiveness of the Environmental Levy Scheme on Plastic Shopping Bags. (2017, Jul 16). Retrieved from


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