Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) is planning to implement mandatory requirements for businesses within the next three to five years for more sustainable packaging waste management.

The requirements aim to reduce packaging waste at its source, and will enable Singapore to work towards becoming a zero waste nation under its Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015 initiative.

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NEA has also gathered views on the introduction of mandatory requirements from various stakeholders between 25 December and May.

"Consumers are also urged to exercise stewardship over packaging waste by choosing products that either use less or recyclable packaging."

NEA will also evaluate feedback from the industry while framing the details of the mandatory requirements.

National Environment Agency CEO Ronnie Tay said: “Aside from companies, consumers are also urged to exercise stewardship over packaging waste by choosing products that either use less or recyclable packaging.

“I encourage both companies and consumers to do their part in reducing packaging waste, and support the national effort towards making Singapore a zero waste nation.” 

The agency will partner with businesses to develop its reduction, reuse and recycling capabilities.

In 2007, the country introduced the first Singapore Packaging Agreement (SPA), before a second agreement was established in July 2012.

The second agreement was originally due to expire in 2015, but was extended until 30 June 2020.

In October 2015, the NEA launched a packaging benchmarking database on its website to help companies compare the packaging weight of their products against similar products sold locally.

Last year, 1.73 million tonnes of domestic waste was disposed of in Singapore, with packaging making up around a third of the total.