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Parliament Q&A

Written reply by Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources to Parliamentary Question on Packaging Waste from Online Purchases on 4 Nov 2019

Question from Ms Cheryl Chan Wei Ling: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources what long-term measures will be introduced to curb the extensive amount of packaging used in delivery of online purchases.

 

Answer:

 

 

Packaging waste is a priority waste stream identified in Singapore’s Zero Waste Masterplan. We are putting in place a regulatory framework to reduce, reuse and recycle packaging under the Resource Sustainability Act.

 

 

2 Next year, we will implement mandatory reporting of packaging data and plans to reduce, reuse or recycle packaging. This includes packaging used in the delivery of online purchases. This reporting will focus companies’ attention on the packaging that they are placing on the market and increase their awareness of the potential for reducing packaging use in their operations. The requirements will apply to manufacturers and importers of packaged goods, as well as supermarkets with an annual turnover of more than $10 million. This includes Singapore-registered e-commerce companies that are also manufacturers and importers of packaged goods, as well as online supermarkets. However, it is difficult to impose our regulations on overseas e-commerce companies. This is a challenge faced around the world. We will closely monitor developments in this area and consult the local industry on ways to bring these companies on board.     

 

3 The reporting framework will lay the foundation for an Extended Producer Responsibility framework to manage packaging waste including plastics, which will be put in place no later than 2025 or even earlier. We will also complement the regulatory framework with measures such as educational campaigns and co-creation of solutions. We will convene a Citizens’ Workgroup next year to discuss and identify the way forward for us to collectively address excessive consumption of single-use plastics in Singapore. My Ministry will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to reduce the consumption of packaging waste.

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