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SINGAPORE ENVIRONMENTAL INDUSTRY DIRECTORY 2020/2021
MANDATING RECYCLING AND REUSE
To provide legislative framework for the measures in the masterplan, the Resource Sustainability Bill was passed in Parliament on 2 September 2019, making it mandatory for some large producers of waste to reuse and recycle more. Speaking in Parliament, Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR), noted, “The shift from a voluntary to mandatory approach in ensuring resource sustainability is not something the
Government takes lightly, but only after careful consideration and consultation.”
For the first time the law has put in place a “systems-level approach that mandates key responsibilities to enable reuse and recycling nationwide”.
The new Act targets three priority areas - electronic waste (e-waste), food waste and packaging waste, including plastics - waste streams which have relatively high generation and low recycling rates.
As a nation, we discard an estimated 60,000 tonnes of e-waste a year or 11 kg per person. To tackle it, the new Act has established the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) framework which holds retailers and producers accountable for the waste they produce. By 2021, it will be compulsory for large manufacturers and importers of electronics to collect and treat e-waste.
As for food waste, which comprises one-fifth of the total waste generated in Singapore, the Act is making it compulsory to segregate food waste for treatment. From 2021, new commercial establishments where large amounts of food waste are expected to be generated, such as malls and large hotels, must allocate space for on-site waste treatment. From 2024, large commercial and industrial generators of food waste are required to treat the food waste.
On packaging waste, producers of specific packaging with annual turnover of over S$10 million will be required to report data on packaging from 2020. Under the Act, they will be required to submit plans to reduce, reuse or recycle packaging waste.
In 2018, packaging waste constituted a third of domestic waste of which 55 percent was plastic packaging, 25 percent paper, and the remaining 15 percent other types of packaging such as glass and metal.
BOOSTING LOCAL RECYCLING
CAPABILITIES AND CREATING JOBS
By adopting the circular economy approach in Singapore’s resource loops and turning trash into treasure, the city-state will have a ready supply of resources to buffer it against global supply shocks while creating new economic industries and jobs.
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