Companies mark Earth Day 2019 through textile donation drive and interactive artwork

Straits Times travel writer Lee Siew Hua (second from left) donated about 5kg in textiles at SPH's Earth Day 2019 event on April 22, 2019.
Straits Times travel writer Lee Siew Hua (second from left) donated about 5kg in textiles at SPH's Earth Day 2019 event on April 22, 2019.ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA

SINGAPORE - Ms Toh Lay Ngoh, 60, of Singapore Press Holdings' Chinese Media Group, donated seven bags of clothing at SPH's Earth Day 2019 event on Monday (April 22), after rallying her family and colleagues over the past week.

She was doing her part for the event's first textile donation drive, which aimed to collect 350kg in used textiles to mark media giant SPH's 35th anniversary this year.

The annual event took place at the SPH Auditorium and also featured upcycling workshops and an eco-bazaar.

"I told my colleagues to go do some spring cleaning and specially told my family to see if they have any old clothing to donate and recycle," said Ms Toh, a senior corporate services manager.

She also bought vegan cakes from Well Dressed Salad Bar & Cafe at the event, which she packed into a reusable container. She said she tries her best to avoid animal food products as she wants to be compassionate towards animals and also keep healthier at the same time.

Straits Times travel writer Lee Siew Hua donated about 5kg in textiles. She said she donates clothes once every 18 months to the Salvation Army, care centres and churches, and has also stopped using plastic straws to help reduce plastic waste.

At the end of the event, about 500kg in textiles were donated, significantly exceeding the target of 350kg.

To raise awareness of the impact of plastic waste on the environment and to encourage the public to use less single-use plastics, Keppel Land and Keppel Reit Management joined hands to organise the display of an artwork made from Singapore's shore debris.

Tenants and members of the public removing microplastic fragments from the Ayer Ayer Project Table at Ocean Financial Centre on April 22, 2019. PHOTO: KEPPEL

Named Ayer Ayer Project Table, the interactive microplastic artwork is an 8m-long table in the shape of Singapore's Punggol Beach coastline. The public, together with facilitators and tenants, can co-create the artwork by removing microplastic fragments found in the debris of the artwork.


This seeks to highlight the issue of plastic pollution in Singapore's beaches and oceans, as studies have shown that microplastics are entering the human food chain.

The artwork will be displayed at Ocean Financial Centre from April 22 to 26, Marina Bay Financial Centre from April 29 to May 3, and Keppel Bay Tower from May 6 to 10.

To also encourage people to be more conscious about using and avoiding single-use plastics, Dentsu Singapore and Green is the New Black created the Plastic Salt campaign.

Dentsu Singapore used recycled plastic to print 3D miniature items such as straws, cups and bottles. These were then placed in salt grinders in eateries across Singapore to raise awareness.

"Each of us is playing a part. If everyone simply refused plastic in the first place, it would make a huge difference. Wherever possible, we need to help to raise awareness of these issues - we need to educate more people and fast," said Green is the New Black co-founder Paula Miquelis.