Today’s headlines: S’pore ‘behind others’ in managing waste (July 3)

Here’s an excerpt from a Straits Times article in today’s Home section, page B4 (my emphasis added):

The lack of public participation in recycling is also a problem with household waste like plastic and food often being incinerated and going to landfill.

Each year, 803,400 tonnes of plastic waste is generated, making it fourth among the top five waste streams, after ferrous metals, construction debris and paper or cardboard, which all have higher recycling rates. Just 10 per cent of plastic is recycled, a rate that has stayed the same since 2001.

“One-third of the waste we discard at home is packaging waste,” Dr Balakrishnan noted. However the 128 companies and groups that have signed the Singapore Packaging Agreement since 2007 have reduced their packaging waste by 14,900 tonnes.

The voluntary agreement aims to get producers to reduce the material used in product packaging and recycle packaging waste.

Dr Balakrishnan also presented the 3R Packaging Awards to 16 firms for outstanding efforts in doing this. Winners included Nestle Singapore, which cut packaging from its Yang Sheng Le herbal soups and Milo powdered drink mixes, and LHT Holdings, which makes pallets, packaging and doors from horticultural and industrial wood waste.

LHT began using recycled material in the late 1990s, after then Environment Minister Yeo Cheow Tong announced that fees for waste incineration would rise. Its managing director Neo Koon Boo said: “Our target is zero waste.”

Article by Grace Chua, published Wednesday, July 3, 2013

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