Singapore's environmental issues, and the policies to tackle these issues.
Statistics, reports and publications by our ministry and statutory boards.
Report incidents, participate in public consultations and suggest ideas.
Ms Rahayu Mahzam: To ask
the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) whether there has been
a study on the effectiveness of campaigns and programmes to create awareness
on zero-wastage and recycling; (b) if so, what are the outcomes of such a
study; and (c) whether the Ministry will consider embarking on a mass public
consultation exercise to collate suggestions from the public on effective
strategies to encourage zero-wastage and recycling.
Ms Rahayu Mahzam: To ask
the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) what are the current
efforts or guidelines for businesses to penalise wastage as well as incentivise
the reduction and recycling of waste; (b) whether the current efforts and
guidelines have been effective; and (c) whether there are any plans to build on
the existing framework.
My Ministry and the
National Environment Agency adopt a combination of strategies to reduce waste
generation and encourage recycling. In particular, we are focusing our efforts
on three priority waste streams – food waste, e-waste and packaging waste.
While there has been progress, more needs to be done to achieve our vision of a
zero waste nation and circular economy.
Waste Reduction and Recycling
2 To make recycling
easier, those living in HDB flats or landed properties are provided with either
a blue recycling bin under their block or a centralised chute for recyclables under
the National Recycling Programme (NRP). This has led to an increase in
from 25,300 tonnes
in 2011 to
44,400 tonnes in 2017. In a survey conducted in 2015/2016, more than 70 percent
of HDB households indicated that they practised recycling. However, this has not translated
into an increase in our domestic recycling rates, which have hovered at around
20 percent in recent years. Taken together, these figures indicate that households
are generally aware of recycling, but do not practise it regularly. More needs
to be done to make recycling part of daily living for all Singaporeans, by
making it more convenient for households to recycle and through more outreach
and education on good recycling practices.
3 We also
target large waste generators by requiring them to report their waste data and
waste reduction targets and plans since 2014. In 2016, 269 large hotels and
shopping malls provided these information to NEA. They have also become more
aware of how to improve their waste management systems. The proportion of large
hotels and malls that recycle has increased from 84 percent in 2014 to 94
percent in 2016. We will look into how the reporting requirement can be
extended to other large waste generators such as industrial premises.
4 My Ministry works closely with other
Government agencies and private sector partners to combat food waste. NEA and
the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) have published food
waste minimisation guidebooks for food retail establishments, supermarkets and
food manufacturing establishments. NEA’s 3R Fund has also supported 22 premises to
install on-site food waste treatment systems. Our food waste recycling rate has
increased from 12 percent in 2012 to 16 percent in 2017. But we can do better. My
Ministry will continue to explore how we can not only recycle more food waste,
but reduce its generation in the first place.
E-Waste and Packaging Waste
5 To better
manage e-waste, my Ministry will put in place an Extended Producer
Responsibility (EPR) framework for e-waste management by 2021. We are also studying
the feasibility of extending the EPR concept to other waste streams, such as packaging
waste including plastics. We will bring forward the mandatory reporting of
packaging data and waste reduction plans from 2021 to 2020. This will build on current
voluntary efforts such as the Singapore Packaging Agreement (SPA) which encourages
businesses to minimise packaging waste. Since its introduction in 2007, the
signatories have collectively reduced 46,000 tonnes of packaging waste and
saved over $100 million in packaging material costs.
Zero Waste Masterplan
Ministry recently announced that we are developing an inaugural Zero Waste
Masterplan to be released next year. In developing the plan, we will be
consulting the public and industry stakeholders on our strategies for achieving
a Zero Waste Nation and circular economy.
7 In the meantime,
we encourage ground-up efforts to reduce waste and encourage recycling.
Everybody must do their part. We also welcome anyone with good suggestions to
write in to NEA via email or social media. Consumers can also encourage
businesses to adopt environmentally-friendly practices through their purchasing
choices and by giving them feedback. Everyone’s effort is important in our
journey towards becoming a Zero Waste Nation and achieving a circular economy.
Last updated: 07 Aug 2018
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