Singapore already has a good waste treatment and management system in place, which ensures that all types of waste are disposed of and treated accordingly.
However, this has also resulted in low recycling rates and does not promote a culture of the 4Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover).
In order for Singapore to become a zero-waste nation, it needs to:
- Instill awareness of the life cycle cost and impact of waste to the population: education and awareness programmes for the public need to start early in school and extend to the corporate realm.
- Develop and implement a holistic policy to promote the 4R culture: the theme of waste cuts across multiple ministries and agencies (EDB, Environment, Energy, etc) and a holistic policy that considers the entire supply chain is essential to promoting solutions and new innovation.
- Get SMEs on board through commercial opportunities: waste management can be economically viable as a business if the true cost of pollution is realised. If the real price of waste handling, management and treatment passes on to the polluter or waste generator, then businesses can effectively identify new opportunities, make investments and take risks on new technology.
A circular economy in Singapore is possible with the right awareness, transparency and an open playing field for businesses to find solutions and innovate to achieve the Zero-Waste goal.