Andrew Tay
Business Development Manager - Tay Paper
Andrew’s introduction

I started my career as a mechanical engineer for 5 years and joined TayPaper Recycling in 2018. Tay Paper Recycling has grown from an informal scrap dealer to now a leading paper focused recycling company in Singapore. On top of just recycling, we also offer confidential data disposal services to help clients comply with PDPA, GDPR and recycle at the same time.

Tay Paper, being a paper recycling company, is at the heart of waste management which is a key component of sustainability. Could you describe your industry, its particularities & its challenges? Are there any challenges particular to Singapore?

In this industry, the products are pretty much a commodity. Sorted recyclables that we collect are at the mercy of international market forces which is increasingly volatile. In the local market, it is a service-oriented market with stiff competition. It is also challenging in Singapore at the eco-consciousness is not as strong, so it is hard to get people to adopt more sustainable practices especially if it cost more.

What are the questions clients often ask you?

Can you do it for free? Are there rebates for my recyclables? Can you tell us the process of what happens after you collect our waste?

What would you reply?

Usually regarding the cost, I will try to explain the cost involved in making the collection and processes after. I may then offer both a service charge $X per trip and a reimbursement rate like $Y/kg and, at the end of the day, they may cancel each other out or one party pays the other.

In terms of what happens after collection, for paper waste we will sort, pack and export them to papermills to be made into new products. For other materials like plastic and metals which we have less volume of, we usually partner with local recyclers (similar to us but plastic or metal focused) for them to process or export.

What would you tell companies that would like to start recycling their paper waste in offices?

Start the conversation with us or a professional waste consultant to help design a “towards zero waste” plan. Paper waste will be one of the lower hanging fruits to tackle. Continuously engage with staff to properly segregate the recyclables from contaminations to have a successful program.

And for their warehouses or factories?

Similar to the above. Conversations may start out trying to recycle papers but could turn out to be a full blown zero waste journey.

As we are moving towards a digital word with newspapers and magazines read online, how do you see the future of your industry?

We are expecting some paper types to decline such as newspaper and writing papers but an increase in packaging papers like cartons. Therefore, we are moving toward a one-stop service approach to help customers with their zero waste journey with recycling as a focus. We are looking to onboard partners and capabilities to offer other services such as waste audit & consultancy, plastic recycling, food waste solutions etc.

In 2019, you started outreach programs with DBS and with Two of a Kind. Could you explain what those programs were about, their benefits and why we should seek more partnerships between companies?

DBS project is a program where we help them collect and recycle red packets, and all their branches act as drop-off points for the public. One of the main benefits is that it sparks a conversation around recycling and sustainability during the Chinese festive season which promotes eco awareness.

This year, other banks and retailers have joined the program. All participating outlets and collection points here.

Two of A Kind project is where we help them (an online direct to consumer contact lens retailer) recycle plastic daily contact lens blisters (containers). This allows these blisters to be effectively recycled where it would have otherwise not been picked up at local sorting plants due to its size. It also sparks a great conversation with contact lens community as this project accepts blisters from all other brands too.

I believe that these partnerships, when well designed, can only be beneficial to all parties, including the environment. So, the more the merrier.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud to be playing a part of some of these projects and initiatives to help improve sustainability in Singapore.

What would be your top 3 advice to The Matcha Initiative (TMI) users?

1. Start conversation with someone in this network and you might be surprise where it leads.

2. Sustainability is a journey and not a quick fix. Many efforts will be required.

3. As consumers of products or services, we all have the power to vote with our dollars. Vote green.

How could you help The Matcha Initiative (TMI) users?

I can help to start the sustainability conversation going and connect to any solutions I might have in my network.

Andrew kindly accepts to answer your questions.
If you need additional insights, you can send him a message.