28 March 2019
The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (“MEWR”) conducted an online public consultation on the Zero Waste Masterplan (“Masterplan”) from 7 to 29 March 2019. The consultation is part of MEWR’s final phase of consultations, which will include focus group discussions in April 2019.
The MEWR has identified three key waste streams to address in the Masterplan:
- Food waste: From 2021 onwards, MEWR and the National Environmental Agency (“NEA”) will work with the public sector to take the lead in segregating food waste for treatment in large public sector buildings where a significant amount of food waste is generated. Developers of new developments which are expected to be large food waste generators will be required to allocate and set aside space for on-site food waste treatment in their design plans. From 2024, large commercial and industrial food waste generators will be required to segregate their food waste for treatment. Such premises include large hotels and malls, and large industrial developments housing food manufacturers, food caterers and food storage warehouses.
- Electrical and electronic waste (e-waste): From 2021, producers that supply covered electrical and electronic equipment (“EEE”) to the local market will be responsible for the end-of-life collection and treatment of their products. Suppliers of consumer EEE, which refers to equipment largely marketed to and bought or used by the general public (e.g. laptops, mobile phones and household appliances), will be required to join a Producer Responsibility Organisation (“PRO”). The PRO is appointed by NEA to collect and send e-waste for recycling. Collection targets will be imposed on the PRO, but as a transitional measure, penalties for missing enforcement targets will not be imposed in the first three years. The new regulations will incentivise producers to design products that last longer, and which are easier to repair, dismantle and recover materials from.
- Packaging waste, including plastics: Under the mandatory packaging reporting framework, producers of packaging and packaged products (i.e. brand owners, manufacturers, importers, and supermarkets) with an annual turnover of more than S$10 million will be required to report on the amounts and types of packaging they put on the market, and their plans to reduce, reuse and recycle them. These businesses will need to register with NEA when the reporting framework comes into effect in 2020, and submit their first report in 2021. This will lay the foundation for the introduction of an Extended Producer Responsibility framework which will be implemented by 2025.
These waste streams are generated at high volumes, have low recycling rates, and/or have potential impact on the environment.
The following materials are available on the REACH website www.reach.gov.sg: