A Baptist University study has found that Hong Kong's recyclers are still struggling to cope one year after the mainland banned the import of various kinds of scrap materials. A government fund set up to help them hasn't helped either, the study says.
The mainland stopped taking 24 solid waste items, like unprocessed plastic bottles, as part of its policy to end the import of dirty waste. It allows only waste plastic bottles reprocessed as flakes or pellets across the border. Unsorted scrap paper is also banned.
Many Hong Kong recyclers are struggling to find new outlets to process their waste or upgrade their facilities to reprocess the rubbish.
Researchers said they spoke to around 150 Hong Kong recycling firms and almost four in 10 said the have made a loss this year.
The study also found that a government recycling fund hasn't proved popular. Recyclers can get up to HK$1million to upgrade their equipment to help them meet the mainland's tighter requirements.
But more than 70 percent of the firms questioned said they hadn't bothered applying.
Professor Jonathan Wong, who led the Baptist University study, said the government must streamline the application procedures for the fund, come up with more subsidies for small recycling firms, and reserve land for them to carry out their operations.