Waste Management
As an Individual
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As an Individual

We are a B2B Platform and focus on companies, yet while working on the waste management solutions, we ended up asking a lot of questions to our experts on our waste as individuals. The average recycling rate for individuals in Singapore was only 17% in 2019 and therefore, we, as individuals, can make a difference.

Understand the Problem
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if we want to adress a problem, we need to understand it.

Here are some insightful videos & articles to read :

Articles:

Videos:

The main message?

Reducing our waste is even more important than just properly recycling it. Recycling should always come last after we have Refused, Reduced and Reused.

Some other take-aways:

  • re-usable plastic bags are the best environmental option in Singapore, provided that they are re-used many times - over 50 times to be precise. Forget your cotton bags and refuse single-use plastic bags or kraft paper bags, they are 10 times worse than reusable plastic bags.
  • biodegradable products are very often NOT a good solution at home because they need industrial composting and should NEVER be put in blue bin, otherwise they will end up with recycled plastic and pollute the whole recycling process. Reducing usage of single use products is the prefered solution. To better understand the problem of biodegradable packaging, read here.
  • Glass, cardboard, metals and hard plastics (such as PET, HDPE, and PE) which are collected in the blue bins will be sorted at the MRF. From there, they will be sent to recycling plants located overseas.
  • All soft plastics will currently get incinerated in the Waste-to-Energy plants.
  • Note that a bottle buyback EPR system is expected in 2022 in Singapore. Furthermore, NEA is investigating the construction of a plastic recycling facility in Singapore. Finally, an Extended Producer Responsibility framework (EPR) will cover the management of other plastic wastes for 2025 onward.
  • a Deposit refund scheme for plastic bottles and aluminium cans will be implemented by 2022. Read here.
  • Again, the first solution is to REDUCE our usage! Join the BYO movement and use reusable items as much as possible.
  • Some rechargeable batteries can be reused 1,000 times compared to nonrechargeable batteries.

~ 2.5 billion

plastic shopping bags are used every year in SG. By simply using a reusable bag, about 300 plastic shopping bags per person could be saved from waste every year.
(NEA)

200 tonnes

of household waste disposed of in 2019 were disposables, enough to fill up about 400 Olympic-size swimming pools.
(cgs)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Many tips on how to reduce our waste here.

Suppliers that provide solutions:
Properly Recycle Household Waste
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Common household items that can be recycled easily:

  • Toilet and kitchen roll tubes
  • All empty detergent, soap, condiment bottles, cosmetic bottles and containers (both plastic and glass)
  • Aluminium cans (from canned drinks and canned food)
  • Flyers, letters, envelopes
  • All plastic packaging such as egg trays, fruit boxes
  • Tetra Pak beverage cartons, milk and juice cartons

Plastic: PET bottles, HDPE bottles, hard plastic, empty detergent, soap, condiment bottles, cosmetic bottles and containers, egg trays
Paper and cardboard:
including TetraPak, Flyers, letters, envelopes, beverage cartons, milk and juice cartons, Toilet and kitchen roll tubes
Metal and aluminium:
including can, canned drinks and canned food
Glass:
containers, bottles

Must be dry, not contaminated with food and liquid.

Items that can be recycled but shouldn’t be placed in the blue recycling bins:

  • Textiles (clothes, shoes and bed sheets)
  • E-waste (any kind of electronic equipment like batteries, mobiles phones, microwaves). Please see relevant solutions in the e-waste category.

There are some things that seem to fall under the branch of recyclable materials, yet they CANNOT be recycled.

Some examples are:

  • Used paper disposables that are contaminated with food waste
  • Greazy Pizza Box
  • Styrofoam
  • Used tissue paper
  • Receipts that have a layer of wax over them (paper receipts can still be recycled)
  • Soft plastics
  • Disposable plastic plates and straws
  • Oxo- and bio-degradable bags
  • Light bulbs and window glass
  • Ceramic and porcelain items

Make sure to rinse all containers previously filled with any sort of content

For example, items such as shampoo/detergent bottles, canned/bottled drinks, cosmetic jars, jam jars need to be clean before they can be recycled. This is to prevent they contaminate other recyclables, especially paper. Soiled paper cannot be recycled, and all recyclables that have been contaminated will be dumped and incinerated with general waste. So give your containers a simple rinse before you put them into the blue bin.

Make sure your paper & cardboards items are not contaminated with food or liquids. Remove the contaminated part where relevant.

If paper or cardboards are wet, greasy or contain food, they are not recyclable and can also contaminate the rest of the items in the recycling bin.

40%

of recyclables placed in the blue recycling bins cannot be recycled, being contaminated with food and liquids.
(Eco-Business)

1/3

of waste from households comes from product packaging.
(NEA)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

For more details consult:

Suppliers that provide solutions:
Tackle your Food Waste
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Food Waste constitutes about 20% of waste disposed of in Singapore. It has strictly no value for a waste-to-energy strategy as food waste is mainly composed of water and therefore requires a lot of energy to burn. The good news is Food Waste has value!

Food Waste includes:

  • the food products we buy but do not use. They could be donated to be used by others.
  • the food we order or cook but do not eat.

First, by making sure we order or cook what we need, we could significantly decrease our waste.

Second, by composting this waste (at least the veggie part of it), we can decrease the food waste sent to incineration.

Easier said than done? Here are links to help you start your composting journey.

S$ 342 million

worth of food is wasted every year in Singapore, equivalent on average to S$258 per household.
(Todayonline)

4.1%

of Singaporeans faced moderate to severe food insecurity between 2016 and 2018.
(Socialservice.sg)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Suppliers that provide solutions:
Repair as much as possible
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Repair should be the first option considered before throwing away an item.

For electrical repair, fabric repair or mechanical repair, get in touch with repair kopitiam.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Suppliers that provide solutions:
Freecycle & Donate as much as possible
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Your item is in good condition but you do not use it anymore. Don't throw it!

Browse Stikyrice to find where to freecycle or donate it.

To name a few:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Suppliers that provide solutions:
Recycle as much as possible
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Too busy or too overwhelmed to sort your recyclables? Fear of contamination for your recyclables? There are some convenient recyclables dropping points or collections services in Singapore:

For e-waste, find all dropping points on the NEA website where to recycle e-waste

95%

of the energy used to make a new can saved by recycling an aluminium can.
(NEA)

30%

of the energy used to make a new bottle saved by recycling a glass bottle.
(NEA)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Suppliers that provide solutions:
Properly Dispose Medicines
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Antibiotics and anti-cancer medicines cannot be disposed of at home but other standard medicines can be.

Here are few tips:

  • Remove any personal data such as your name form the medicine package, container, or bag.
  • Put the medicine in a bag and secure the bag properly.
  • Return the medicine to a nearby pharmacy.

S$ 663

is the cost of wasted drugs in Singapore on average per patient per year.
(Todayonline)

Suppliers that provide solutions:
Buddies - Experience sharing

The « green journey » may feel overwhelming sometimes, but you are not alone.

Our Buddies have tried, succeeded, failed to implement change in their companies. They share their experience so you can learn, take shortcuts, get inspired and ask questions.

Everybody can become a Buddy and give back to the community; if you are keen, get in touch with us.

Alya Annabi
Digital Learning Manager - Timeo-Performance

I am a Digital Learning Manager who has a passion for the sustainability topic and how to live a more sustainable life in Singapore. I love sharing with my colleagues and friends about this topic, hoping to inspire more and more people to have a more conscious lifestyle.

Since last year, I have been learning a lot about how to create my own products in order to detoxify my environment from harsh chemicals. Since then, I have animated some webinars called "Green Yourself" to show to people how to make their own products using what they have in their kitchen.

Benoit Barraque
Head of Application Service for Finance, Compliance & IT4IT domains - Credit Agricole CIB

Passionate about travels, Benoit left France in 2011 for Asia, lived in Hong Kong then landed in Singapore 6 years ago, working for Credit Agricole CIB. With 15 years of experience in IT across different sectors and industries, he is now managing a team focusing on IT application support. In 2017, he was one of the founders, and now the leader, of their first green team in Singapore.

Nadège Claudel
General Manager - BSI (British Standards Institution)

I have been General Manager of BSI Singapore for 2.5 years. Prior to joining BSI, I held different job assignments for the international retailer Carrefour. For them, I oversaw Quality, Food Safety and Sustainability in China and then at the Group level.  

I spent most of my career working in Asia: in Shanghai, Hong Kong and I have been happily settled in Singapore for 8 years now. 

I have a real passion for sustainability and nature conservation and I love to share the knowledge and experience I gained in this field. I am also a volunteer for the Singaporean NGO called Climate Conversation which aims to raise awareness on climate change.

Package Pals Trio
Founders – Package Pals

Package Pals is a circular packaging initiative that seeks to extend the life cycle of packaging. We collect used e-commerce packaging from members of the public, distributing it back to businesses seeking eco-friendly, second hand packaging options. There are 7 categories of packaging we collect: poly mailers (<A4),paper envelopes (<A4), plastic wrappers (<A4), bubble wrap, padded envelopes.

Package Pals has worked with multiple large and small businesses, schools, NGOs and governmental organisations since it was started in May 2020. Other than carrying out collection and distribution, we also focus on education and outreach, seeking to educate our 4k-strong audience on packaging waste and other environmental issues, through social media, webinars and other events.