Press Releases

2019 is Singapore’s Year Towards Zero Waste

1. The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) has designated 2019 as the Year Towards Zero Waste. In this Year Towards Zero Waste, we aim to raise awareness of waste issues in Singapore; and work with partners to rally Singaporeans to treasure our precious resources and build a strong 3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) culture in Singapore. This will pave our way towards a circular economy and a zero waste nation.


 2. Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, launched the year-long campaign at Our Tampines Hub (OTH) today. The launch will be followed by a weekend of activities at OTH, which will include: sharing sessions on the circular economy by Mr Arthur Huang, National Geographic Emerging Explorer and CEO, Founder of Miniwiz; exhibition booths by MEWR’s Partners promoting the 3Rs; and tours of OTH’s eco-friendly facilities. The launch was attended by 250 guests from the 3P (People, Public and Private) sectors and the diplomatic corps.


 Our Vision of a Zero Waste Nation


 3. Over the years, Singapore has put in place an effective and efficient waste management system to safeguard our health and protect the environment. But with an increasing population, urbanisation and economic growth, we are faced with new challenges to manage increasing amounts of waste.


 4. Singapore generated 7.7 million tonnes of waste in 2017. This is a seven-fold increase from 40 years ago, and enough to fill 15,000 Olympic-size swimming pools. Based on the current rate of waste generation, our only landfill, the Semakau landfill, will run out of space by 2035.


 5. With limited land for waste disposal and landfilling, we need to reduce our waste and adopt a circular economy approach to waste and resource management. Under this approach, we aim to reuse and recycle resources for as long as possible by turning trash into treasure, and engaging in sustainable production and consumption. Besides protecting the environment, a circular economy approach will also create new jobs and economic opportunities for Singaporeans and our businesses. 


 Singapore’s Inaugural Zero Waste Masterplan


 6. MEWR and the National Environment Agency (NEA) will be publishing our inaugural Zero Waste Masterplan in the second half of this year. The Masterplan will chart our adoption of a circular economy approach to sustainable waste and resource management. It will detail the key policies and strategies that the Government will be implementing in the next few years, supported by industry transformation and research and development. Examples of policies include the introduction of the Extended Producer Responsibility approach to managing e-waste by 2021. We will consult the public and industry stakeholders on the development of the Masterplan.


 Call for Collective Effort


 7. Our vision of a Zero Waste Nation can only be achieved through our collective efforts. Over the course of the year, the MEWR Family will work with 3P partners to engage various stakeholders – individuals, schools, businesses and community groups – on actions everyone can take to help move Singapore towards a Zero Waste Nation. Examples include: buying only what you need; and bringing your own bag.


 8. A #RecycleRight movement will be launched to encourage everyone to recycle the right way. We will engage partners to help educate public on the items that can go into the blue recycling bin, and the importance of ensuring the items are clean and free of food/liquid waste. To support relevant ground-up projects, a ‘Towards Zero Waste Grant’ will also be set up.


 9. More information on the Zero Waste Masterplan public consultations, #RecycleRight movement and ‘Towards Zero Waste Grant’ will be provided later in the year. More information on the Year Towards Zero Waste can be found at




 12 JANUARY 2019





Key waste statistics and calls to action 




Food Waste

Packaging Waste


Key statistics

Singapore generates 60,000 tonnes of e-waste annually. This is equivalent to every person disposing 73 mobile phones a year.


60% of people do not know how to recycle their e-waste.



Food waste is one of the biggest waste streams in Singapore and it has grown by 40% over the last 10 years.


810 million kg of food waste was generated in 2017. This is equivalent to the weight of 55,000 double decker buses.


Households generate 50% of total food waste.


Of the 1.6 million tonnes of domestic waste disposed in 2017, one third consisted of packaging waste (includes plastics).



40% of materials deposited into recycling bins are not suitable for recycling.


These include items with food and liquid waste, which contaminate other recyclables.

Calls to Action

Buy only what you need.


Repair instead of replace.


Donate your usable items.


Recycle your e-waste at designated collection points.

Buy, order and cook only what you can finish.


Turn leftovers into new meals.


Donate your excess food.

Avoid single-use disposables where possible.


Bring your own reusable bags, containers and utensils.


Choose products with less/green packaging.

Recycle more: Deposit recyclable waste at designated collection points, e.g., blue bins


Recycle right: Do not contaminate recyclables with food or liquid waste.




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