Curb excessive packaging to reduce waste

Ten years ago, a box of mooncakes from a reputable bakery or hotel would cost between $30 and $50.

Today, a normal box of mooncakes (with single yolk) would set you back by about $60 to $80.

Granted, the cost of ingredients has gone up in the past few years.

But a big reason behind the skyrocketing price of mooncakes is actually the higher production cost, as packaging gets more fanciful and extravagant.

Square paper boxes have made way for multi-tiered tower boxes that have oriental motifs to go with them, or even boxes made to look like business suitcases.

It may seem fine to impress others with a pretty box of mooncakes but, eventually, most of such packaging end up in the bin.

The Chinese government has passed an "excessive packaging" law to restrict, regulate and govern packaging manufacturing processes.

This led to mooncake boxes returning to much simpler forms.

Perhaps in Singapore, we should also implement some form of legislation or tax to deter over-packaging, which will, in turn, help to bring down the amount of waste caused by over-packaging.

Desmond Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2017, with the headline 'Curb excessive packaging to reduce waste'. Print Edition | Subscribe