Written Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on the Targets in the Reduction of Marine Debris set out in the Regional Action Plan
Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) what are the specific targets in reduction of marine debris set out in the Regional Action Plan under the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris; and (b) if no specific targets have been set, whether the Government will work towards setting specific targets with other ASEAN country partners.
Marine litter is a key environmental concern for the ASEAN region and will require collective action by all stakeholders. Singapore, together with our fellow ASEAN Member States, are committed to implementing the ASEAN Regional Action Plan on Combatting Marine Debris, which was launched in May 2021.
The Regional Action Plan does not set specific targets for the reduction of marine debris. Instead, the Plan focuses on preventing marine debris pollution through upstream measures to address land-based sources of plastic waste, which is assessed to account for 80% of marine plastic debris in the oceans. To this end, the Plan has identified 14 regional actions to facilitate the development of national-level policies to reduce the use of plastics; enhance plastic waste management and minimise leakage; and create value from plastic waste reuse and recycling, to enable a more sustainable and circular approach to plastics in the region. The implementation of these regional actions will support ASEAN Member States' efforts to strengthen domestic policies and practices to reduce plastic waste pollution in their respective countries, to the benefit of the shared regional environment.
Singapore welcomes the implementation of the Regional Action Plan. Its goals are closely aligned with our national efforts to better manage, reduce and recycle plastic waste through the adoption of circular economy approaches. While we have no plans to engage ASEAN Member States to set targets to reduce marine debris, Singapore will continue to support their efforts to address marine litter, such as through the sharing of our experiences and expertise in waste management. Last November, Singapore organised a virtual training programme on urban solid waste management for ASEAN Member States, to build regional capacity on sound waste management practices and prevent the leakage of waste into the ocean.