Regulations on packaging, food and e-waste under Singapore’s Zero Waste Masterplan and Resource Sustainability Act

Paia Consulting hosted our very first online breakfast briefing together with guest speaker and environmental lawyer Joseph Chun on 15th April 2020, introducing the new waste regulations under Singapore’s Resource Sustainability Act.

Singapore’s only landfill, the Semakau landfill, is predicted to run out of space by 2035 at current waste generation rates. To reduce the amount of waste generated in Singapore, the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources published a Zero Waste Masterplan in 2019, Singapore’s designated Year of Zero Waste. The plan outlines a series of measures that the Singapore government will take in order to reduce waste (per capita) sent to landfill by 30% by 2030.

As part of the masterplan, the Resource Sustainability Act was introduced to accelerate the reduction of waste in three priority waste streams: electronic, packaging and food waste. The Act partially came into force on 1st January 2020 and will first require producers of regulated electrical and electronic products to be responsible for the collection and treatment of their products when they become waste, from July 2021. Companies that introduce packaging material into the Singapore market will eventually be required to do something similar by 2025, but as a first step, they are required to collect and report information on the type and amount of packaging material that they place on the Singapore market, as well as plans to reduce packaging waste, from 2022*[1].

The Act also requires commercial and industrial premises generating large amounts of food waste to properly segregate and treat food waste from 2021. New buildings will be required to allow for on-site treatment of food waste from 2024.

On the day of our breakfast briefing, figures released by the National Environment Agency (NEA) showed that about 7.23 million tonnes of solid waste was generated last year compared to about 7.7 million tonnes in 2018, making this the third yearly reduction since 2017. Will the Singapore Resource Sustainability Act see a continued decrease of waste generated in Singapore?

Paia Consulting has experience working with companies on materials and waste reporting and strategy. Whether you are affected by the new regulations or would simply like strategic support in helping your company reduce waste, we can help you. Contact us to find out more.

[1] Original timeline of 2021 has been revised due to COVID-19