One piece of contaminated plastic can taint the whole recycling bin

Many Singaporeans are still unaware of the type of plastic that can be recycled (Inconvenience and ignorance key obstacles to recycling; Aug 31).

In fact, only a meagre 6 per cent of our plastic waste is recycled.

Without having proper knowledge of recycling, uninformed Singaporeans tend to throw the wrong items into the recycling bin. Ultimately, the lack of knowledge on how to recycle plastic properly may lead to them choosing not to recycle altogether.

Most of our plastic waste comes in the form of food and beverage packaging.

However, contaminated plastic is not recycled by waste collectors and is sent to be incinerated. One piece of contaminated plastic in the recycling bin is enough to taint the entire bin's worth of plastic, contributing to our extremely low recycling rate for plastic.

However, Singaporeans still throw their used-food packaging into the plastic recycling bin.

With proper education on the importance of recycling and the steps to follow, the amount of contaminated plastic thrown into the recycling bins can be reduced tremendously.

I applaud the Let's Recycle Together campaign by Zero Waste SG, where volunteers educate residents on items that they can recycle.

More informative posters can also be put up beside recycling bins to educate those who wish to recycle on the proper way to do so.

We should also have facilities near recycling bins for those who want to recycle plastic to rinse and clean their contaminated plastic waste before recycling it.

With proper education and facilities provided through the efforts of environmental groups and the National Environment Agency, we will be able to strive for a sustainable Singapore.

Kieran Ethan Tan

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