ALBA E-Waste Art Exhibition - Amy Khor
OPENING REMARKS BY SMS DR AMY KHOR AT THE ALBA E-WASTE ART EXHIBITION ON 29 OCTOBER 2022 ON 29 OCTOBER 2022 AT LOT ONE
Mr Fons Krist, General Manager, ALBA E-Waste Smart Recycling
Mr Jo Lim, SVP, Chye Thiam Maintenance
Mr John Pang, Acting Cluster Head, CapitaLand
Ladies and Gentlemen
1 I thank ALBA for organising this meaningful event to engage students as well as raise public awareness on e-waste recycling. I must also commend the students for the very interesting and creative pieces of art!
2 E-waste is a priority waste stream for Singapore. As a country, we throw away about 60,000 tonnes of e-waste annually. That’s about the same as each person throwing away 11kg of e-waste, or the weight of 73 mobile phones. Discarding electrical and electronic equipment is a waste of valuable resources. They contain precious metals such as gold and copper, which if kept in use, prevents the need for mining of virgin materials, and reduces our carbon footprint.
3 To manage our key waste streams, we need to keep our resources in use for as long as possible. We can do this by practising the 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. For example, when we see a new phone model being released, our first instinct could be to buy the new model and discard our existing phone, even though it works perfectly fine. Practising the 3Rs would require us to consume sustainably. This means rethinking whether it is necessary to consume more than what we need.
4 When our phones get scratched, we may be tempted to buy a new one, keeping our cracked phone in a drawer. Instead, we can choose to repair the phone where possible, or sell or donate it to someone who does not mind the defect. This keeps resources in use for as long as possible. Finally, when our phones are truly beyond their lifespans, we should recycle it instead of discarding it, so precious materials can be extracted and put to good use.
5 In July 2021, NEA launched the Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme for e-waste management to improve our e-waste recycling rates. ALBA, the scheme operator, collects regulated e-waste on behalf of the producers of electrical and electronic equipment and ensures they are sent for proper treatment and recycling. ALBA has set up more than 700 e-waste bins and collection points across Singapore. Here at Lot One, you will find an e-waste bin on level 1 beside McDonalds, and manned collection points at Popular and Courts. FairPrice, on Basement 1, also has a bin for batteries and lamps.
6 Through ALBA’s collection streams, more than 7,500 tonnes of consumer e-waste has been collected across Singapore. That’s equivalent to about 1kg of e-waste collected from each person, or the weight of 7 mobile phones. These numbers are encouraging, but we can do more to promote sustainable consumption. Events like today’s art e-waste art competition help to raise awareness amongst the public on how to reduce, reuse and recycle e-waste.
7 Community-led initiatives also play an important role. For example, Repair Kopitiam, a community-led initiative, teaches residents how to repair their electronic and electrical equipment, such as fans or kettles, to prolong their lifespans. If you have an idea to promote awareness or encourage e-waste recycling, I encourage you to apply for my Ministry’s SG Eco Fund to get your initiative started. Your ground-up effort will go a long way to rally the community to live more sustainably.
8 I invite you to join us in making a Green Nation pledge at go.sg/greennationpledge and commit to championing a green, liveable and climate-resilient Singapore. Do encourage your friends and families to do so too.
9 Let’s work together to help Singapore become a Zero Waste Nation.