Environmental Petition

Support MSW Waste Charging – We Are Drowning In Waste!

To develop a levy scheme for municipal solid waste treatment: More details

8 Signatures obtained, Need To Reach 500 by June 30, 2021

Target: 500

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Bills Committee of the Legco,

Sign your support for Municipal Waste (MSW) Charging to Hong Kong Government and legislators. MSW Charging is a waste management policy that has shown dramatic impact on both waste creation and recycling rates in every city, district and country where it has been implemented. 

Why does it matter for Hong Kong?

1) Hong Kong is a big household waste producer on a per capita basis 

2) Hong Kong’s budding recycling systems need strong, structural support

3) MSW Charging provides a signal and incentive for behaviour change towards a more sustainable lifestyle

Why should you sign?

We need to signal our strong support and give our lawmakers and politicians the courage to move ahead. That’s why this petition matters. 

Why now?

If the bill does not clear the final hurdle during this extended LegCo term, we’re back to zero. 10 years of work down the drain. And likely another decade before this cornerstone of service provision and financing in modern societies starts benefiting Hong Kong, its citizens, and its awe-inspiring natural environment.


Petition Letter

To Bills Committee of the Legco,

We urge members of the Legislative Council to pass the required amendments of the Waste Disposal Ordinance and Waste Disposal Regulation during this term of the Legislative Council. In line with the “polluter-pays” principle, charging for waste is a necessity in any modern society’s waste management toolkit. Legislation for waste charging will promote waste avoidance, strengthen local recycling industries, and allocate the societal cost of waste handling and recycling correctly. 

Hong Kong-specific studies commissioned by Drink Without Waste highlight MSW charging as an effective tool towards the recovery of recyclables [1]. With Hong Kong’s recycling industry facing challenges of land tenure and international waste trade restrictions, MSW charging is a timely economic tool to support the long-term sustainability of local processing and recycling businesses. Since the introduction of waste charging in the 1990s, South Korea and Taiwan have improved their recycling rate to 86% and 55% respectively [2].

The latest government figures indicate that the per capita daily MSW disposal rate remains high (1.47kg) while the overall recycling rate has dropped to 29%. The lack of MSW charging is a leading contributing factor to this state of affairs. It is time for Hong Kong to catch up with its neighbours.

We welcome the proposed monthly subsidies for all recipients of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme and Higher Old Age Living Allowance. These address concerns that citizens and their representatives may have over the weight of MSW charges on household budgets. Moreover, based on our knowledge of international policies and Hong Kong attitudes towards waste management, the proposed transition period of 12 to 18 months is deemed to be adequate. 

[1] Wealth of Flows (2020) Blueprint: a statutory value-on-return scheme for Hong Kong’s beverage containers (https://bit.ly/2Z3uJ48); Deloitte (2018) Drink Without Waste: Research Report (https://bit.ly/3a97pbK)

[2] Ministry of Environment (2021) Land & Waste (https://bit.ly/3ap0F9K); World Bank (2018) What a waste 2.0 (https://bit.ly/3u7ZnrB)

Petition Creator

This petition was started by Drink Without Waste on March 1, 2021, with an end date of June 30, 2021.


The Single-Use Beverage Packaging Working Group, established in 2017, is a coalition of beverage manufacturers and importers, waste handlers and recyclers, institutions, retailers and NGOs. Our goal is to reduce the volume of used beverage packaging going to waste by 70 to 90% in 2025. Municipal Solid Waste charging will help ensure we can meet this target.