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Singapore’s Rewards-Based Waste Management Plan Set to Kick-Off

Image credit: www.nea.gov.sg

From July 1, it will be easier for Singaporeans to recycle their electronic waste, or e-waste, as the National Environment Agency (NEA) kicks off its E-Waste Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme. The scheme is designed to ensure that producers and importers of certain regulated electronic items — such as laptops, phones, printers and tablets — are required to support the scheme financially.

The EPR scheme for E-waste, the agency said, will also promote the development of Singapore’s e-waste recycling capabilities by providing feedstock for the recycling industry and driving demand for e-waste treatment services in the country. NEA’s deputy chief executive officer for environmental protection said that recycling e-waste protects human and environmental health and helps to conserve the earth’s precious natural resources.

NEA added that the appointment of the Producer Responsibility Scheme Operator is an important step to close the e-waste loop and adopt a circular approach towards resource management as envisioned in Singapore’s Zero Waste Masterplan.

Singapore’s inaugural Zero Waste Masterplan maps out Singapore’s key strategies to build a sustainable, resource-efficient and climate-resilient nation. This includes adopting a circular economy approach to waste and resource management practices and shifting towards more sustainable production and consumption.

The nation’s goals are to achieve a 70 per cent overall recycling rate and to reduce the amount of waste sent to Semakau Landfill by 30 per cent per capita per day by 2030. Under the Singapore Green Plan 2030, Singapore is frontloading this to achieve a 20 per cent reduction in waste-to-landfill per capita per day by 2026.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, the Singapore Government recently unveiled the ‘Singapore Green Plan 2030’, a whole-of-nation movement to advance Singapore’s national agenda on sustainable development.

The Green Plan outlines targets over the next 10 years, highlighting Singapore’s commitments under the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and Paris Agreement, and positioning the country to achieve long-term net-zero emissions as soon as possible.

The initiative is spearheaded by five ministries – the Ministries of Education, National Development, Sustainability and the Environment, Trade and Industry, and Transport. The plan aims to strengthen Singapore’s economic, climate and resource resilience, improve the living environment of Singaporeans, and bring new business and job opportunities.

The Green Plan has five key pillars:

  • City in Nature: to create a green, liveable and sustainable home for Singaporeans
  • Sustainable Living: to make reducing carbon emissions, keeping our environment clean, and saving resources and energy a way of life in Singapore
  • Energy Reset: to use cleaner energy and increase our energy efficiency to lower our carbon footprint.
  • Green Economy: to seek green growth opportunities to create new jobs, transform our industries, and harness sustainability as a competitive advantage
  • Resilient Future: to build up Singapore’s climate resilience and enhance our food
  • security
  • The Green Plan will strengthen existing national sustainability efforts and mitigation measures with several new initiatives and targets. These include:
  • A new Enterprise Sustainability Programme to help Singapore enterprises to develop capabilities in sustainability
  • Requiring all new car registrations to be cleaner-energy models from 2030, and more than double the targeted number of electric vehicles (EVs) charging points by 2030, from 28,000 to 60,000
  • Raising the sustainability standards of buildings through the next edition of the Singapore Green Building Masterplan
  • Building on the 2030 aim to reduce the waste sent to landfill by 30% and work on achieving a 20% reduction by 2026
  • Working towards a two-thirds reduction of net carbon emissions from the school’s sector by 2030, and aiming for at least 20% of schools to be carbon neutral by 2030 for a start, with the rest of the schools to follow thereafter

The Green Plan will be supported by the Eco Stewardship Programme in schools, to strengthen the inculcation of informed, responsible and sustainability-conscious mindset and habits in our young.

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