SINGAPORE - Reusable bottles were considered for this year's National Day Parade (NDP) funpacks in place of plastic ones, but this was not implemented due to costs.
A single 750ml plastic bottle of water will be provided instead of the usual two smaller bottles at previous NDPs.
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen was responding in a written reply on Monday (July 8) to a parliamentary question by Mr Louis Ng (Nee Soon GRC) on whether green alternatives to single-use plastic bottles could be provided in the funpacks.
Said Dr Ng: "In planning for each NDP, the executive committee strikes a balance between sustainability goals and the comfort and well-being of Singaporeans who participate (in) and watch the event."
"Drinking water in reusable bottles was considered but not implemented as there was a lack of suppliers which can do so at an affordable cost."
The executive committee works with the National Environment Agency (NEA) to promote more sustainable practices for each NDP, he added.
As part of the parade's sustainability efforts, unused ponchos will be collected at the end of each rehearsal or preview and given out at the next one.
Mr Ng had also asked whether the collection points for unused ponchos could be used to collect other unused items in the funpacks, and if alternatives to plastic bags in the funpacks have been considered.
The Defence Minister said a plastic bag is included to facilitate the bagging and hygienic disposal of waste, to support the Keep Singapore Clean movement.
"Volunteers will also be at collection points to encourage spectators to leave behind unused ponchos, LED wristbands or the funpack (bag) itself, as well as for them to deposit recyclables such as the 750ml water bottle," he added.
Reusable items, such as bamboo straws that double up as clappers, have been included in this year's funpack.
The bag itself features a water-resistant lining and adjustable straps, allowing it to be carried as a backpack, sling bag or a tote bag.
Funpacks will be distributed to parade-goers at distribution points around the Padang, where this year's NDP will be held.