Written Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on Work-from-Trends for Individuals to Reduce Waste and Increase Recycling, on 5 October 2020
Dr Lim Wee Kiak: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment how can Singapore leverage on the work-from-home trend to promote adoption of greater personal acceptance and responsibility for recycling and reducing waste.
In view of the work-from-home trend, NEA has stepped up engagement to encourage the community to adopt good 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) habits. Additional emphasis has been placed on actions which can be taken by those working from home. These include bringing reusable food containers for takeaway; not opting for disposable cutlery; avoiding food waste by ordering and cooking the right amounts; storing any unfinished cooked food properly for safe consumption later; and emptying and cleaning recyclables before placing them in the blue recycling bins.
Last month, NEA launched the second run of the “Say YES to Waste Less” campaign together with partners to encourage consumers to reduce food wastage and consumption of disposables. We are heartened that 95 partners have come on board, an increase from 59 partners last year. These include food delivery service platforms, which have seen increased demand in recent months as more people work from home, as well as operators of major food and beverage (F&B) outlets, malls and retail chains, hotels, schools, and non-government organisations. In all, they cover more than 2,100 premises, an increase from the 1,600 premises last year.
Our partners have rolled out several initiatives. For example, by making opting out of receiving disposable cutlery the default option, prompting customers to ask for smaller food portions or consider if they need a bag, and offering incentives for customers who bring their own reusables.
We also recently started a Citizens’ Workgroup to co-create solutions with members of the public to reduce the excessive consumption of disposables. We look forward to hearing participants’ ideas on how we can reduce the use of disposables, whether working from home or at our workplaces.