Lately, certain nations of the world introduced initiatives or passed bills into law in tackling waste, especially food waste, in order to reduce emissions and in extension, achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Singapore has also picked up the gauntlet.
At the recent CleanEnviro Summit Singapore conference, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Masagos Zulkifli, announced the introduction of new mandatory requirements for the use of sustainable resources in packaging, and to reduce packaging waste within companies in the next three to five years by the Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA).
The regulations have yet to be defined clearly, but preliminary ideas are that companies will have to publish their annual reports on how much packaging they use, leading to the development of waste reduction plans and recycle targets.
According to the Minister, companies need to minimize waste packaging as the country produced 1.73m tonnes of domestic waste in 2015, one third of which was from packaging.
Though a voluntary initiative had been previously installed by the NEA in 2007 called, ‘The Singapore Packaging Agreement’, there are indications that it was not particularly effective. The Minister calls for more effort on the part of all stakeholders to ensure compliance and impact.
Masagos said: “The amount of packaging waste reduced by their efforts – about 6,300 tonnes last year – constitutes less than 1 per cent of the annual amount of packaging waste disposed off in Singapore.”
NEA has consulted more than 140 representatives from 100 organisations in manufacturing, food and beverages, and other sectors about the new regulations to help Singapore become a zero-waste nation.