Last night the Sustainabl. team attended Green Drinks' “Waste or Valuable Recyclable” event to get an update from Harold Yip to get the latest development on paper recycling and liquid carton collection by SSID and Mil Mill.

Harold Yip is the Executive Director and founder of Secure Information Disposal Services (SSID), and co-founder of Mil Mill. Harold is a paper expert that started by recycling office paper, to now running a circular economy for paper. 

Mil Mill is the first pulp mill and education centre that recycle beverage cartons in Hong Kong. The paper mill has the capacity to process a maximum of 50 tonnes of beverage cartons daily and convert them into paper pulp. They also recycle different kinds of paper and composite-paper-products, like our truly sustainable packaging into paper pulp!

Secure Information Disposal Services Limited (SSID) is Mil Mill’s mother company. Starting from confidential destruction to professional waste consultancy, SSID aims to be the leading waste management company that applies knowledge and technology. They now serve over 3000 companies in HK. Recently, SSID won the DBS SME grant, which helps to set up a paper mill in Singapore and impart education on beverage carton recycling.

It is understood that in September last year, Mil Mill was issued a notice to vacate its location in Yuen Long. After public outcries and petitions to keep Mil Mill in operation, Mil Mill was given a grace period until late June of this year to give the company more time to weigh up its options.

Harold spoke to a room eager to hear what would come next for Mil Mill and SSID “we are still in the process of looking for a new location and we will make our decision in the next two months” he went on to explain that Mil Mill will stop the recycling of Tetra Pak by the end of June, however, will keep collecting and store the waste paper until they have a new operation up and running in September this year. 

It is great news for Hong Kong that Mil Mill will continue to service this city. Currently, Mil Mill pulps 3 tonnes a day of beverage cartons a day, and they can do more, up to 50 tonnes a day! But limitation is based on supply of recyclable materials. Harold encourages people to continue their recycling habits, with the Green Community locations being their largest supply channels for paper and liquid cartons.

“Most people think Hong Kong people would not be willing to clean their Tetra Pak cartons,” Harold told us, but cleaning at home makes it cheaper for recyclers like Mil Mill because they don’t have to do the water treatment themselves. 

In Taiwan, you don’t have to wash the packaging beforehand because the facilities have the water treatment for cleaning it, but this is an added cost that Taiwan paper recyclers can bare because they have waste charge schemes that funnel money into their operations. Hong Kong is not there yet, so we'll have to washing at home until there is a solution!

When it comes to exporting Hong Kong’s paper waste to China, only treated paper can be exported. Low-grade paper products like paper packaging and tissue boxes are generally not very valuable fibres. However, when they are processed, pulped and treated at Mil Mill it becomes valuable enough to be exported like any other paper pulp that comes from office paper, paper boxes and newspaper. 

Mil Mill is a huge contributor to the recycling community in Hong Kong. Just this weekend, they collected 3.6 tonnes of paper cups from the Hong Kong Marathon, you can watch the live video of the collection and pulping process on their Facebook! 

We’d like to thank Mil Mill for addressing the challenges we face to reduce waste in Hong Kong. As our packaging is recycled at their facilities it is so important for us that they continue to serve this city, and we thank them for their hard work!