The mandatory packaging reporting framework will also form the basis of an EPR framework for the management of packaging waste, including plastics. This ensures that manufacturers are responsible for collecting and recycling the materials they use to package their products. We are currently reviewing the approach and will consult with industry. The aim is to bring the EPR system for packaging waste management into force by 2025. We support land initiatives with financial support. One such initiative was Zero Waste SG`s Bring Your Own (BYO) campaign, supported by the Call for Ideas Fund, which encouraged consumers to use reusable bags and containers when purchasing food, beverages and takeaway foods. Since 2017, more than 400 retail stores have joined the campaign and offer incentives to customers who bring their own reusable. This has saved approximately two million single-use parts and plastic packaging. NEA has benefited from BYO`s success and supported Zero Waste SG with the Partnership Fund to evolve the 2019 Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB) campaign to focus on reducing the use of single-use plastic bags.
Singapore should be proud to take the lead in the fight against packaging waste at the national level. With further improvements to the GSB, Singapore can certainly become a leader in waste management in ASEAN. Dissecting the criteria for evaluating the SPA PRICE, candidates were evaluated on 1) the prevention of packaging waste, 2) recycling or reusing packaging waste, 3) training consumers, 4) the use of recyclable/recycled packaging materials, and 5) the reduction of other waste. The prize is a measure of the vision and objectives of the G.S.O., and there is still a lack of quantitative targets for signatories to work. Since many of the BSG signatories are international groups, the definition of a “packager” in this agreement needs to be clearer. Take, for example, a company like Coca-Cola, which does not have a production site in Singapore for long. While Singapore markets Coca-Cola products locally, these products are packaged abroad and whether they should be “limited” by the BSG remains a grey area. In the packaging sector, it is to design 100 per cent of its packaging to be recyclable, compostable or biodegradable, to increase recycled materials in its plastic packaging, to reduce the CO2 effect of packaging and to increase recycling rates by 2025.
Because packaging is so common but not used, we need to find ways to reduce and consume it more sustainably. Adopting a circular economic approach to closing the resource loops of food waste, packaging waste and packaging waste, including plastics, will bring us closer to our future at Zero Waste, where households and industry consume less, waste less and recycle more. The government will work with stakeholders in different industry sectors to explore how these technologies can be applied in Singapore, so that they are both environmentally and economically sustainable.