37 projects to receive $3.7 million under SG Eco Fund

The SG Eco Fund supports the Singapore Green Plan 2030, a roadmap that charts a more sustainable path forward for the Republic. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - A total of 37 green projects will receive $3.7 million in grants under the SG Eco Fund set up to aid sustainability efforts, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu announced on Saturday (May 22).

Of these, 25 projects will receive up to $50,000 in funding, while the remaining 12 will receive between $50,000 and $700,000.

Awarded projects include a self-help recycling zone by the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu-Chi Foundation, set up to teach the community to recycle the right way; and a laptop repair and upcycling workshop by non-profit organisation Engineering Good to redistribute these refurbished laptops to family service centres and needy beneficiaries.

Engineering Good volunteer Sylvia Koh, 45, explained that parts from damaged laptops can be repurposed into useful items. Her charity has, for example, upcycled discarded computer lightbulbs into USB webcams.

A press release issued by the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment said that the winning projects were evaluated on their environmental outcomes, as well as community engagement and implementation plan, among several factors.

"They address a broad spectrum of environmental issues, ranging from waste management and recycling to public cleanliness and low-carbon solutions," said a spokesman.

"They are a mix of public, private and people sector applicants."

Other grant recipients are grassroots bodies such as the Yuhua and Bedok Citizens' Consultative Committees and Marymount Community Club; the National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University; the Singapore Food Agency statutory board; and Gardens by the Bay - whose project involves the development of a freshwater mangrove wetland ecosystem at the tourist attraction and nature park.

The $50 million SG Eco Fund was launched in November last year and received more than 200 applications from both individuals and organisations after its first grant call, which was extended to the end of January.

Among those who were awarded funding were Ms Celine Delacharlerie, Ms Chew Li Hong, Ms Aurelie Chameau and Ms Liyana Mahira, for their idea to organise an environment-themed scavenger hunt taking participants to green locations to educate them on sustainability.

In her opening speech at a youth forum, held virtually by non-profit organisation Global Compact Network Singapore, Ms Fu also singled out herb farm owner Eddie Chen, who aims to convert waste by-products into mycelium-based materials.

Mycelium is the root structure of mushrooms. These materials are good alternatives to polystyrene and wood-based ones and can therefore be used for packaging and furniture, said Mr Chen.

Ms Fu also mentioned Ms Rachel Lee, 20, whose project will recruit volunteers and engage store owners in neighbourhoods to set up collection points for reusable bags and contact lens blisters, or packaging.

"With that, she hopes to influence and change the norms in her neighbourhood," said Ms Fu during a fireside chat later. "If we do recycling, if we don't use that much of plastics and disposables, I think it sets a norm around you - people will look and (see it as) the expected behaviour."

The SG Eco Fund supports the Singapore Green Plan 2030, a national road map launched in February this year to chart a more sustainable path forward for the Republic.

The Plan sets out targets like having more energy-efficient buildings and improving resilience to the impact of climate change, such as by boosting local food production.

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