Reducing waste: Mass movement needed to educate public

Some of the contents in blue recycling bins cannot be recycled as people deposit non-recyclables, such as tissue paper, in the bins.
Some of the contents in blue recycling bins cannot be recycled as people deposit non-recyclables, such as tissue paper, in the bins. PHOTO: ST FILE

The large majority of the population is not aware of the proper way to recycle bottles and paper boxes, which must be cleaned of all the food and liquids before being deposited (More being done to improve awareness of recycling, by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, May 7).

Even in my own household, I am the only one who washes bottles before placing them in the recycling bin. The rest of my family continues to dispose of items without cleaning them, which results in items that cannot be recycled.

It is a waste of resources to arrange for the collection of items for recycling, only to have to burn them instead.

I urge the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources to address the issue of waste reduction on multiple fronts. Educate the young on matters such as how to separate the trash and discontinuing the use of disposable cutlery. And use media coverage along with other community channels to promote awareness among adults.

It is a waste of resources to arrange for the collection of items for recycling, only to have to burn them instead.

Simply providing more signs or making the text on recycling bins larger will not be enough. This will require a mass movement to educate the public on Singapore's goal of reducing waste.

Yupadee Vivatkiat

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2019, with the headline 'Reducing waste: Mass movement needed to educate public'. Print Edition | Subscribe