Forum: Convert plastic waste into amenities for public use

The only way to decrease waste is to reduce it.

If we cannot reduce plastic waste - considering how useful it is - perhaps we should instead focus on recycling and reusing our plastic waste.

Most of the recyclable plastic is exported. However, with some countries deciding to stop accepting the rest of the world's plastic waste and recyclables and our Semakau landfill filling up at an unsustainable rate, Singapore will have to consider alternatives to handling plastic waste and recycling.

One possible solution would be to recycle plastic waste by turning it into playground equipment, park benches, and tables and chairs in schools and offices, among other furniture and infrastructure, for each neighbourhood or school.

The recycling rate of each neighbourhood could also determine if additional infrastructure is installed in the area. For example, more benches could be installed in neighbourhoods or schools that recycle more.

These projects could also have labels indicating that they were made of recycled plastic and include statistics on the recycling rate in Singapore, to encourage the public to recycle.

Having these projects in places the public frequently visit and letting them see their recycling efforts become tangible could encourage them to recycle more often.

These could also lead to a sense of accomplishment and ownership.

Singapore could also explore the use of recyclable plastics in the petrochemical industry to develop a circular economy for plastics.

There could also be eco-stewardship programmes for students, with activities such as turning plastic bottles into containers to grow plants.

Apart from addressing waste management issues, these solutions would also align with Singapore's Green Plan 2030 initiative by encouraging more sustainable development and developing a sense of individual responsibility in young people, allowing them to work towards a greener future.

Anvitha Rajaram

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