In 2019, about 200,000 tonnes of domestic waste disposed of were disposables, comprising items such as carrier bags and takeaway containers, and were enough to fill up about 400 Olympic-size swimming pools. The current “take, make, use and throw” approach to disposables is not sustainable. This has contributed to carbon emissions and the ash generated from the incineration of such items is a burden on Semakau Landfill, which is expected to be full by 2035.
There have been extensive efforts from the people, private and public sectors to conserve our precious resources. This includes implementing policies and sustained outreach campaigns. However, we need to continue to work hard to ensure a sustainable future for future generations. In this regard, in the spirit of Singapore Together, NEA convened a Citizens’ Workgroup from Sep 2020 to Feb 2021 where 55 participants from all backgrounds and age groups came together to identify and discuss inclusive recommendations to collectively address the issue of excessive consumption of disposables. Participants were given access to resources to enable them to better understand the topic which helped them generate ideas on how to tackle the issue in the local context and form teams to develop practical and inclusive recommendations, with guidance from subject matter experts. The groups also presented their recommendations in the final session.
MSE and NEA have responded to the Workgroup's recommendations here.