70% of 1,300 polled want recycling bin labels changed

The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, in partnership with Zero Waste Singapore and LepakInSG, holding a focus group discussion at the Environment Building yesterday, with Minister Masagos Zulkifli and MP Louis Ng in attendance.
The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, in partnership with Zero Waste Singapore and LepakInSG, holding a focus group discussion at the Environment Building yesterday, with Minister Masagos Zulkifli and MP Louis Ng in attendance.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Results suggest people think redesign might help households to recycle right: Ministry

The labels on the blue recycling bin may be in need of a redesign to encourage more people here to recycle.

A survey by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) found that over 70 per cent of 1,300 people who took part in an online poll voted for a redesign of the labels on recycling bins.

The ministry said the survey results suggest that people think such a redesign might help households to recycle right.

Current government figures show that around 40 per cent of what goes into Singapore's blue recycling bins cannot be recycled because they are non-recyclables, or because of contamination from food or liquids.

The online survey, conducted from March 7 to 31, was part of MEWR's public consultation on the Zero Waste Masterplan, to see how Singapore can pursue more sustainable consumption, and to encourage more to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

The findings will inform the ministry's inaugural Zero Waste Masterplan, which will be released later this year.

Of the 1,300 respondents, 65 per cent were graduates and 85 per cent were less than 45 years old.

MEWR said 73 per cent of the respondents indicated they supported reducing food waste by making it more convenient to donate excess food that has not yet expired.

  • 40% Proportion of what goes into the blue bins that cannot be recycled.

    89% Proportion of respondents who prioritise encouraging people to use reusable bags and bottles.

When asked how packaging waste such as plastics could be best reduced, 89 per cent prioritised encouraging people to take along their own reusable bags and bottles instead of using disposable bags, bottles and packaging.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said that in addition to the survey, there will be two focus groups holding discussions with members of the public to find good solutions to better manage waste.

Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor said that bringing different stakeholders together would help the ministry get multi-faceted perspectives on how to collectively chart Singapore's path towards a Zero Waste Nation and a sustainable environment for future generations.

 
 
 

"This is the first time my ministry has teamed up with partners from the people, private and public sectors to co-organise a focus group discussion to formulate an actionable and sustainable masterplan," Dr Khor said.

"I am confident that the insights and ideas we gather will go a long way in helping us," she added.

Dr Khor also mentioned the need for circular economy approaches to waste management.

"The amount of waste disposed in Singapore has increased sevenfold over the last 40 years.

"Last year, we generated close to eight million tonnes of waste. That is equivalent to the weight of close to 530,000 double-decker buses," Dr Khor said.

"This is a waste of precious resources, and is not sustainable," she added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 19, 2019, with the headline '70% of 1,300 polled want recycling bin labels changed'. Print Edition | Subscribe