The Zero Waste Masterplan (ZWM) gives shape to the ambition of Singapore regarding its Waste Management System and the Resource Sustainability Act (RSA) defines the legal framework towards this objective.
This ambition was prompted by the high increase of waste being disposed in Singapore over the last 40 years which questions the Semakau landfill’s ability to fulfil its mission beyond 2035, while there is limited space to build an additional landfill.
The ZWM and the RSA are part of Singapore’s strategy to build a sustainable, resource-efficient and climate-resilient nation. They set out measures targeting the three waste streams that currently have high generation and low recycling rates:
The goal is also to promote a more responsible and holistic approach through:
Throughout these different streams and the provisions listed under the 2019 Resource Sustainability Act, better use of resources are expected by further promoting the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle).
To support these efforts while strengthening Singapore’s climate, resource and economic resilience, the investment will be made in R&D projects, notably as regards the on-site treatment of waste and waste-to-energy processes, as well as in optimized treatment and recovery infrastructure.
Under the updated Resource Sustainability Act, several mandatory provisions have been adopted as regards food waste segregation and treatment in Singapore.
2021 - Developers of new commercial and industrial premises, where large amounts of food waste are expected to be generated, must set aside space for on-site or off-site food waste treatment systems in their design plans.
2024 - Existing large commercial and industrial food waste generators are required to segregate food waste for treatment using on-site food waste treatment systems (compost) or off-site facility treatment. This includes large hotels and malls, large industrial developments housing food manufacturers, food caterers and food storage warehouses. Premises that have set aside space as part of 2021’s requirements must now implement on-site treatment.
To support businesses in their efforts, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has produced a series of food waste minimisation guidebooks, which provide advice and examples across the whole value chain:
In addition, corporates can also apply to the 3R Fund to get financial assistance when installing on-site food waste treatment systems.
Browse our solutions for food waste in Food & Beverage category.
Additional resources: Food section on the NEA’s website.
E-waste covers electrical and electronic waste, such as but not limited to computers, laptops, mobile phones, TVs...
Under the updated Resource Sustainability Act, producers of certain categories of EEE, including manufacturers and importers, will become responsible for the proper end-of-life management of their products under the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).
The EPR framework is designed to ensure producers bear the responsibility for the collection and treatment of their electronic products when these products reach their end-of-life.
Producers, as defined in the Act, are required to register with the NEA to supply regulated products.
All producers of non-consumer products used by businesses will be required to:
2021 - This Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) framework, which will apply as of 2021, builds on existing voluntary schemes and requires businesses to collect e-waste and ensure it is recycled by licensed companies. For retailers whose floor area is above 300 m2, it will be mandatory to reserve space for e-waste collection of information and technology equipment, lamp and batteries.
Browse our solutions for e-waste in Digital Footprint and IT.
Packaging Waste: Mandatory Packaging Reporting Framework
Mandatory Packaging Reporting will be implemented by 2025.
2020 - to extend the scope of work of the Mandatory Waste Reporting (2014), NEA made a current framework (large malls and hotels) also mandatory to all large industrial and commercial premises (including large convention and exhibition centres). More info here.
2021 - The Mandatory Packaging Reporting of data (amounts and type of packaging placed on the market) and 3R Plan (packaging improvement plan) for packaging producers which include brand owners, manufacturers, and retailers whose turnover is more than $10 million.
By 2022 - the National Environment Agency (NEA) will be implementing a Deposit Refund Scheme (DRS) for beverage containers.
2025 - No later than 2025, an extended producer responsibility (EPR) framework for packaging, including plastics, will be put in place (and is now being studied by the National Environment Agency).
Packaging covered under the mandatory packaging reporting include:
To facilitate transport and handling of products and service packaging (which is filled at point of sales). Obligations under the law depend according to the types of packaging and ownership of packaging.
For, at least the first year, only service, primary, and secondary packaging are relevant. Tertiary packaging will not have to be reported on the first year.
As for food waste, businesses can apply to the 3R Fund to get financial assistance for projects aimed at redesigning processes to reduce waste, developing dedicated infrastructure and improving recycling processes.