Hong Kong may extend 6-month grace period for plastics ban that starts Monday: minister

“Some people have also asked me whether the six-month [grace period] is a hard deadline,” he said.

“Our overall approach is hoping to help the industry eliminate plastics. So if we really see any reason for an extension after six months, we are happy to consider it.”

But the minister said he felt six months was enough time for restaurants to clear out the last of their single-use plastic items, while wholesalers could sell off remaining stock to businesses overseas.

Tse stressed that the law would not prohibit travellers from bringing in single-use plastics for personal use, leaving the public with “some flexibility”.

Hong Kong’s plastics ban will saddle hotels with extra costs: industry chiefs

In a separate TV appearance, he also defended the adoption of single-use cutlery made from paper and wood.

“In the past when we were using disposable plastic tableware, those forks couldn’t pierce anything at all. How could it cut through steak? The wooden forks we have now are better than those,” he said.

“I didn’t find the plastic knives very easy to use. I tried them all and they would break if I applied too much force. On the contrary, the wooden knives are sturdier, less susceptible to breaking. I don’t see a huge difference in usability.”

Tse said restaurants and their patrons would gradually adjust to the new tableware options after the policy took effect.


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