Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on the Beverage Container Return Scheme at Coffeeshops and Hawker Centres by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment
Miss Cheryl Chan Wei Ling: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment when the small deposit charge is applied to all metal and plastic containers for pre-packaged beverages in 2024 (a) how will this affect diners at coffeeshops and hawker centres; and (b) whether a different refund mechanism will be available for dine-in users.
1 In designing the scheme, we will make it easy for consumers to understand, to enable each of us to play our part in building a circular economy. The National Environment Agency will work with the future scheme operator to set up a network of conveniently located return points, such as reverse vending machines and over-the-counter return points, to enable consumers to easily claim their deposit refunds.
2 At food and beverage (F&B) premises, including coffeeshops and hawker centres, operators and stallholders have the flexibility to decide whether to collect the deposit and pass the beverage containers to their patrons. We recognize that in more casual settings, such as coffeeshops and hawker centres, shop owners would typically have their customers pay the deposit and take the beverage container. Operators of F&B premises could consider setting up return points at their premises, which could be manual over-the-counter return points or automated Reverse Vending Machines. Operators of return points would be paid handling fees to reimburse costs incurred.
3 We will continue to engage our stakeholders as we develop the scheme, and work with the future scheme operator to prepare operators of F&B premises for the implementation of the scheme.