Firms must report packaging data by 2021 in bid to cut waste

A paper carton box with polyurethane foam used by Greenpac, which helps reduce packaging waste. The firm was among 11 multinational companies and five SMEs that won Singapore Packaging Agreement awards for their efforts to cut packaging waste.
A paper carton box with polyurethane foam used by Greenpac, which helps reduce packaging waste. The firm was among 11 multinational companies and five SMEs that won Singapore Packaging Agreement awards for their efforts to cut packaging waste.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

In a move to cut packaging waste here, companies will have to disclose their packaging data by 2021.

They will have to share the type and amount of packaging they use, as well as their plans to reduce it.

Products with reduced packaging will carry the Logo for Products with Reduced Packaging label. This will help consumers make informed purchasing choices in an effort to reduce waste.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli announced the initiatives yesterday. "Every one of us has a part to play in reducing packaging waste," he said.

The National Environment Agency revealed that about 1.66 million tonnes of waste were disposed of by the domestic sector last year. One-third of this was packaging waste, with the amount equivalent to the size of more than 1,000 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Mr Masagos commended companies such as Sunfresh Singapore for reducing packaging waste. The company invested in a more efficient juice extractor so that fewer oranges are needed to get the same amount of juice. This, in turn, cuts down the containers needed for storage and transportation.

Sunfresh was among 11 multinational companies and five small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that won the Singapore Packaging Agreement awards for their efforts to reduce packaging waste.

 
 
 

One of the SME winners, Ha Li Fa, was recognised for its ice machine initiative that eliminates plastic packaging. Production manager Tay Ching Phing said introducing such initiatives is not easy, and noted: "We have to change the mindsets and working habits of the staff, which is not something that can be done overnight."

Another company, Greenpac, was awarded for its use of paper carton boxes with polyurethane foam, which allows each client to save about 0.53 tonne of packaging material per year. The firm's head of corporate communications Stephanie Gan said: "Everyone is talking about going green and is still stuck at the thinking stage. They need to act on it."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 06, 2017, with the headline 'Firms must report packaging data by 2021 in bid to cut waste'. Print Edition | Subscribe