The Resource Sustainability Bill was passed in Parliament on 4th September 2019 - compelling Singapore to do more for the mounting wastage problem in Singapore.
The aim? To reduce the amount of waste sent to our only landfill, Pulau Semakau, by one-third by 2030.
So What Does This Mean?
With this Bill, there are three streams of wastage the Government wishes to tackle Bill: E-Waste, Packaging Waste and Food Waste.
E-waste refers to any electrical and electronic equipment that has been thrown. With this new enactment, companies that are manufacturing or importing electronic products will now need to commit to the proper treatment of their e-waste.
Packaging Waste will be reduced by the mandatory packaging reporting framework, urging companies to be more aware of the benefits of reducing packaging. The use of single-use plastics is also being debated - with Ministers questioning if we can entirely remove plastic bags from a Singaporean’s life where we use it for other purposes such as trash disposal.
Food Wastage will be tackled by regulations for large hotels, malls and commercial premises owners to segregate their food waste for treatment to be converted into animal feed, energy and other purposes.
What Are Organisations Currently Doing?
To tackle E-Waste, Starhub launched an e-waste recycling program in 2014 to encourage customers to recycle their e-waste through their RENEW programme, earning praises for their commitment to environmental sustainability.
Packaging Waste is being tackled by organisations such as Unilever by reducing the weight of the Shampoo bottles to prevent excess packaging waste. In more recent times, organisations like Fairprice and McDonald’s are making their stand by charging for plastic bags and removing plastic straws from their outlets.
Regarding Food Wastage, organisations in Singapore are starting to take actions to reduce food wastage. Good examples would be Grand Hyatt and Marina Bay Sands, who invested in technology to help convert food waste to pathogen-free organic fertilisers.
Can We Do More?
Of course, more can still be done by organisations to reduce their wastage but the passing of the Resource Sustainability Bill is definitely a huge step forward towards a more sustainable future. With more attention being placed on the wastage situation, we can definitely look forward to seeing more measures being put in place.
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