Hong Kong has launched a two-month public consultation on a new scheme to regulate disposable plastic tableware.

The new legislation – developed by the Environmental Health Department – aims to ban the local sale of single-use, disposable plastic tableware to customers, and prohibit catering companies from providing it to customers, in a bid to reduce plastic waste.

Photo: Freepik.

“The newly announced Waste Blueprint for Hong Kong 2035 proposes to strive towards achieving waste-free seas…eliminating plastic at source is the most fundamental way to prevent plastic waste from entering the marine environment,” a department spokesperson said on Friday.

“As a coastal city, Hong Kong shall not ignore the issue and has to pay extra attention to the problem of plastic pollution and its impact on the environment,” the spokesperson added.

More than 14.5 billion pieces of plastic cutlery are disposed of in Hong Kong every year, according to the department’s statistics. The consultation will last until September 8.

Disposable plastic tableware includes straws, cutlery, food containers, plates and cups.

Correction 26.08.21: A previous version of this article stated that more than 14.5 million pieces of plastic cutlery are disposed of in Hong Kong every year. The figure has been corrected to 14.5 billion.