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Editor in Chief: RAFFAELLO COSSU


  • Benjamin Steuer - Division of Environment and Sustainability, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Academy of Interdisciplinary Studies, Hong Kong

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In the Special Administrative Region Hong Kong, municipal solid waste has grown substantially over the past two decades with plastic waste accounting for an increasingly large proportion. In response, the Hong Kong government trialled several schemes that centred on economic mechanisms and the circular economic principles of recycling and reduction to manage plastic bags and plastic beverage containers. As the results of these measures have been met with strong criticism, the present paper assesses the extent to which therein applied economic mechanisms realised a circular management of these streams. To explore this question, the paper relies on quantitative and qualitative field research combined with an analysis of a specifically designed public opinion survey. The findings indicate that price setting is a key element towards circularity for waste plastics in Hong Kong, yet it is not the sole determinant. Using an evolutionary institutional framework the paper shows that besides economics the incorporation of consumers’ and recycling stakeholders’ interests are key for effective regulations towards a circular economy on plastics in the city.


Editorial History

  • Received: 11 Apr 2024
  • Revised: 28 May 2024
  • Accepted: 03 Jun 2024
  • Available online: 17 Jun 2024


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