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Report incidents, participate in public consultations and suggest ideas.
Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for
the Environment and Water Resources (a) whether the Ministry monitors the
amounts of microbeads in reservoirs, tap water, and discharges into the ocean;
(b) what percentage of microbeads is removed during the water treatment
process; and (c) whether the Ministry will consider banning cosmetics that
PUB has in place a comprehensive water quality
monitoring programme to ensure that our potable water supply complies with regulations
and international standards, and is safe for drinking. Microplastics, which
include microbeads, are removed at our waterworks that treat water for potable
supply. At our NEWater and desalination plants, microplastics are removed using
reverse osmosis membranes. Monitoring by PUB shows that our drinking water is
free from microplastics.
2. PUB also ensures that all used water is
collected and treated at water reclamation plants to internationally recognised
discharge standards. During the treatment process, microplastics in used water
will be substantially removed as sludge and incinerated. The bulk of the treated
used water is further processed and reclaimed as NEWater. As a result of these
processes, only a miniscule amount of microplastics is discharged into the sea.
is looking into incorporating membrane bioreactor technology in our used water
treatment process to further improve the microplastics removal rate.
3. We are monitoring international developments on microplastics,
including microbeads in cosmetics. The National Environment Agency encourages
businesses to reduce the use of microbeads in their products. Multinational
corporations, such as Johnson & Johnson,
Unilever, L’Oreal Group, Colgate-Palmolive, and Estee Lauder Company, have voluntarily phased out microbeads in their
products. Major local retailers such as Guardian Singapore,
Watsons and NTUC Fairprice, have also indicated that they have phased out microbeads
in their house-brand products.
4. We are committed to keeping our watercourses free
from pollution, and will continue to review the effectiveness of our regulatory
and monitoring regime in safeguarding our water resources and the
Last updated: 11 Sep 2018
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