Everyone should be very familiar with the topic of environmental protection, such as: plastic bag tax, waste reduction at the source, recycled materials, recyclable plastics, decomposable plastics, and biodegradable materials. I believe everyone is familiar with them. Over the past 20 years, they have often appeared in our lives. After all, how are they defined in the field of environmental protection? How does it work? Can the ideal of environmental protection be realized?
In Hong Kong, the first phase of charging for plastic shopping bags was implemented on July 7, 2009, covering more than 3,000 retail outlets, mainly large supermarket chains, convenience stores, and health care and cosmetics stores. After the implementation, the use of 660 million units per year has been reduced to 150 million units per year for the first time. This effect is very significant.
Despite the initial success of the plan, its coverage is limited. Outside the regulated retail sector, the disposal of plastic bags in landfills is still increasing. Therefore, in May 2011, the government launched a three-month public consultation on whether and how to expand the plastic bag levy plan. On the whole, the public supports the expansion of the scope of the plan to the entire retail industry to further address the problem of using plastic shopping bags in Hong Kong.
Regarding environmental issues, the plastic bag industry has introduced many solutions in the past two decades, and has also derived different technologies to meet the details of the environmental protection requirements of various governments, including: non-woven bags, nylon bags, cloth bags, linen bags, recyclable plastic bags, photolysis plastics, bacterial decomposition plastics, water-soluble plastics, resin cell-forming plastics, starch plastics, polylactic acid and plastic alternatives synthesized from various natural raw materials.