The Environmental Protection Department announced today that it awarded a contract for a one-year pilot scheme to collect plastic beverage containers by reverse vending machines (RVMs) to A.S. Watson Group (HK).
The department conducted an open tendering exercise earlier to invite a service provider to install 60 RVMs at public places or government facilities with higher foot traffic with a view to facilitating the return of used beverage containers by the public, paving the way for the introduction of a producer responsibility scheme on plastic beverage containers (PPRS).
It noted that experience in other places suggests that the use of RVMs to collect plastic beverage containers can enhance the operational efficiency of the PPRS as well as the quality of beverage containers collected.
The scheme will test the application of RVMs in a local context.
Under the scheme’s contract, the contractor is required to advise the department on the operational arrangements for the 60 RVMs.
It also has to provide a cash rebate to those who return plastic beverage containers through the RVMs.
All the plastic containers collected will be delivered to suitable recyclers for proper treatment and recycling locally.
Starting the contract on August 24, the contractor will have a preparatory period of about three months to set up the first batch of RVMs, including their operating and cash rebate systems as well as collection services for the plastic beverage containers.
The contractor is also required to provide an ambassador service to promote the scheme, assist the public in the proper use of the RVMs and provide a hotline for people to make enquiries or reports.