In Singapore’s journey towards a Zero Waste Nation, we are focusing on closing three resource loops: food, electrical and electronic equipment, and packaging, including plastics.
Interventions through legislative and economic measures will target the entire value chain, supported by infrastructure, research and development, and industry development.
Three priority waste streams
As Singapore prepares for an increasingly
carbon- and resource-constrained future,
with limited space for waste disposal, MEWR
and the NEA are pushing towards a wider
adoption of circular economy approaches,
where resources are used over and over
again, and waste is designed out of the
We have had some successes, like
the near 100% recycling rate for construction
and demolition waste and metals. However,
some types of waste are generated in large
quantities, but have a low recycling rate, such
as food and packaging. Though electrical
and electronic waste (e-waste) makes up
less than 1% of total waste generated in
Singapore, it could have a detrimental effect
on the environment if not properly managed.
This is why we have made food, e-waste,
and packaging, including plastics, our
three priority waste streams for closing the
resource loop and working towards our vision
of a Zero Waste Nation.
will support the proper management of
these three priority waste streams through
a regulatory framework to promote resource
sustainability. The Resource Sustainability Act is a landmark
legislation introduced in 2019 to give effect to the regulatory framework.
Through legislation, the Government will mandate the segregation
of and treatment of food waste by large food
waste generators and impose the Extended
Producer Responsibility framework on
producers and retailers of electrical and
electronic equipment (EEE). The Government will also mandate the
reporting of packaging data and submission
of plans to reduce, reuse or recycle packaging
by producers of packaged products and
These regulatory measures are expected to
drive demand and create a viable industry
for resource recovery in Singapore. They
have the potential to create net economic
benefit for Singapore and provide an earlymover
advantage in the global push towards
a circular economy. We hope to promote
innovative circular business models and
position our companies to seize opportunities
in the region for specialised waste treatment,
recycling or remanufacturing.
Regulatory measures are complemented
by outreach and engagement efforts to
businesses and consumers, to develop
sustainable production, consumption, and
waste and resource management habits
across the entire value chain.
More on these measures and efforts
will be shared in this chapter.