Most packaging for consumer goods, such as food, drinks, and electronics, is used just once before being thrown away.
Packaging makes up about one third of all household waste in Singapore and more than half of this consists of packaging for food and drinks.
Unnecessary packaging is not only a drain on resources, it is also adds to the production of waste. Given the lack of space for another landfill in Singapore, we need to reduce the amount of waste we produce to prolong the lifespan of our landfill for as long as we can.
Installing The Habit Of Recycling Packaging
Many people and companies simply throw packaging away without a thought, especially if the packaging was not designed to be reused or easily recycled.
Promoting Responsible Packaging Practices
Often, elaborate packaging is used to make products look better. Consumers can help change wasteful practices by rejecting products that have excessive packaging.
Redesigning And Reducing Packaging Production
The National Environment Agency (NEA) introduced the voluntary Singapore Packaging Agreement in 2007. Companies which sign the Agreement commit to reducing their packaging waste over a period of five years.
They do this by redesigning their production processes, reducing the size and thickness of the physical packaging produced, eliminating unnecessary packaging, and changing the way that products are packaged.
Increasing The Amount Of Packaging Recycled
Under the agreement, companies also agree to increase the amount of packaging recycled and use more recycled or recycle-able materials when producing packaging. Building owners and hotel and shopping mall managers have also signed the Agreement, committing to provide recycling facilities for their tenant.
Raising Awareness Among Consumers
Companies also try to raise awareness and educate consumers on the benefits of reducing packaging waste. For instance, Tetra Pak has been running educational programmes in the school to encourage students to recycle used beverage cartons since 2008.
Companies Cut Back On 10,000 Tonnes Of Packaging
Since the Singapore Packing Agreement was launched in 2007, the companies that signed the Agreement have reduced the amount of packaging produced by up to 46,000 tonnes.
These companies also saved $100 million in the process. The number of signatories has grown from 32 companies to the current 229.