Plastic bags used per year

What are disposables?Disposables are items designed for single use before they are thrown away.We can think of disposables in two broad groups:
They are usually made of plastic, paper, degradable materials, or a combination of these.

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What’s the issue with using disposables?Disposables can be useful – for instance, medical items such as syringes, bandages, và masks. However, in many cases, disposables are not essential because there are reusable options that could be used & reused many times!
In these cases, disposables often serve more lớn provide convenience to lớn businesses và consumers. They are usually used briefly or only once before they are discarded. Such usage can be very wasteful!Do we create a lot of waste from using disposables?In 2020, about 200,000 tonnes of domestic waste disposed of in Singapore were disposables. This comprised both packaging & non-packaging items such as carrier bags, food and beverage containers, và tableware and utensils.
At the rate that we currently create waste, our only landfill, Semakau Landfill, will be fully filled by 2035! Reducing our use of disposables will contribute toward our various efforts lớn reduce waste generation, in order to lớn achieve our target of reducing the amount of waste to landfill by 20% by 2026 và 30% by 2030.
Semakau Landfill. Source: National Environment Agency.
Did you know that recycling right also helps to lớn reduce the waste sent khổng lồ Semakau Landfill? Pick up recycling tips from Bloobin at

Will reducing our use of disposables help mitigate climate change?Yes, it will. It also helps lớn conserve Earth’s precious resources.Resources such as oil, plants, water, và energy are used to lớn produce disposables, transport them khổng lồ users, và process them at waste treatment facilities. Greenhouse gases are also emitted during the process of production, transportation, and disposal of disposables, especially if fossil fuels are burnt.

Why don’t we ban single-use plastics, since they contribute khổng lồ marine litter?The issue of marine litter has increased international attention on single-use plastics. Globally, land-based trash is the largest source of marine litter. Littering và lack of effective waste management systems are key reasons why such land-based waste, including plastics, kết thúc up in the ocean.Singapore has several measures to prevent waste from land-based sources from ending up in our environment. Our measures include:-- Integrated solid waste management system that ensures all waste is collected for disposal or recycling.-- Proper treatment of waste that is not recycled, at our waste-to-energy incineration plantsand disposal at Semakau Landfill.-- Strict anti-littering regulations.--Waterway và coastal clean-up measures.--Controlling the discharge of pollutants into inland waters.More information can be found in the National kích hoạt Strategy on Marine Litter.Banning single-use plastics may also lead to a switch to lớn disposables made from other materials such as paper or degradable plastics, which also create waste, have their own set of environmental impacts và are not necessarily better for the environment.In view of the above, instead of advocating a switch khổng lồ degradable materials, Singapore’s approach is to lớn reduce the use of disposables regardless of material type, and promote the use of reusables.

Did you know?
A life-cycle assessment (LCA) study on carrier bags and food packaging in Singapore commissioned by the National Environment Agency in năm nhâm thìn showed that every material has a phối of environmental impacts, và substituting plastics with alternatives made from paper or biodegradable materials may not be beneficial for the environment. Please refer to lớn the Factsheet on Findings from Life-Cycle Assessment Study on Carrier Bags & Food Packagingfor more information.In its report on Addressing Single-Use Plastic Products Pollution Using a Life Cycle Approach, the United Nations Environment Programme also emphasised that products intended for single-use are the problem, regardless of their material, with the most sustainable products being reusables.

What have we done khổng lồ reduce our use of disposables?There are wide-ranging efforts khổng lồ reduce the use of disposables, from regulations to lớn national campaigns & voluntary initiatives.

Click on the headers below to find out more.

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Mandatory Packaging Reporting

From 2021, producers of packaged products, such as brand owners, manufacturers, and importers, as well as retailers such as supermarkets, with an annual turnover exceeding $10 million, have lớn collect data on packaging they supply khổng lồ the market. They also have to lớn develop plans to reduce, reuse or recycle (3R) packaging in Singapore, & submit these 3R plans together with their packaging data annually khổng lồ, from 2022. The Mandatory Packaging Reporting (MPR) aims to lớn raise companies’ awareness on the amount of packaging used and spur them khổng lồ better manage or reduce their use of packaging, including disposable packaging. The MPR will lay the foundation for an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) framework for packaging waste management.

Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging Waste Management

Under the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) framework to manage packaging waste, which is targeted lớn be implemented no later than 2025, producers will be responsible for the collection và treatment of the packaging that they supply khổng lồ the market. This will improve the recycling of used packaging và incentivise upstream reduction in packaging. The first phase of the EPR for packaging waste will be a beverage container return scheme, which will introduce in the next few years. Building on engagements over the past two years, MSE/ are embarking on in-depth consultations with stakeholders lớn carefully develop the details, including the implementation timeline.

Singapore Packaging Agreement và Packaging Partnership Programme

The Singapore Packaging Agreement (SPA), launched in 2007, was a joint initiative by thuphikhongdung.vnernment, industry, & non-thuphikhongdung.vnernmental organisations khổng lồ reduce packaging waste. Signatories of the spa làm đẹp had cumulatively reduced about 62,000 tonnes of packaging waste and saved about S$150 million, through actions such as making improvements to lớn their packaging designs or practices to lớn reduce packaging material usage, switching from single-use to reusable containers, or eliminating unnecessary packaging. With the expiry of the spa on 30 June 2020 và to carry on its good work of spurring improvements và providing opportunities for the sharing of best practices in sustainable packaging waste management, has partnered the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) to implement a joint Packaging Partnership Programme from 24 March 2021 . Apart from facilitating access to lớn experts who can provide technical assistance to the companies in identifying areas for improvement, workshops & training sessions will be conducted to tư vấn companies in tracking và reporting their packaging data, as well as developing their 3R plans for packaging, lớn comply with the new mandatory packaging reporting requirements.

Reducing Disposables at Community Spaces has been working with stakeholders khổng lồ reduce the use of disposables at hawker centres managed by has disallowed the usage of disposables for dine-in meals at all new hawker centres, và at existing hawker centres which have adopted the use of common crockery & centralised dishwashing services under the Productive Hawker Centres programme. In addition, does not allow new cooked food stallholders at existing hawker centres to lớn provide disposables to lớn patrons for dine-in meals. To lớn reduce the use of bottled water, water dispensers have been installed in most hawker centres, sport centres, và some bus and MRT stations.

“Say YES to lớn Waste Less” Campaign

The runs the nationwide “Say YES lớn Waste Less” campaign, khổng lồ drive public awareness of the impact of excessive consumption of disposables & the need for action. Retailers, F&B outlets, supermarkets, hotels, grassroots organisations, schools, and NGOs partner the in this effort to encourage kích hoạt at points of consumption. This includes prompting customers to opt out of disposable cutlery for their online orders, providing incentives lớn customers who bring their reusables, and actively encouraging employees khổng lồ reduce their use of disposables.

Campaigns and Voluntary Business Initiatives

NGOs such as the Singapore Environment Council, Zero Waste SG, and BYO Bottle Singapore have run campaigns khổng lồ rally retailers and consumers around the Bring Your Own movement, where customers are encouraged to bring their own reusable bags, bottles, or containers. Initiatives such as WWF-Singapore’s Plastic action (PACT) commit businesses khổng lồ phasing out disposables such as straws and cutlery, and to not provide disposable utensils by default for online food delivery. Some retailers have also started charging for the use of disposables such as carrier bags và take-away food containers.

New Business Models

Grocery stores that offer packaging-free products are available in Singapore. Examples include Unpackt Pte Ltd, The Source Bulk Foods, Scoop Wholefoods Pty Ltd, and Eco.Le – Zerowaste Bulk Shop, và not to lớn forget our market stalls where fresh và dried goods are often sold without pre-packaging. Reusable take-away container rental services such as barePack and Muuse have also entered the market & partnered with F&B outlets and food delivery companies khổng lồ rent out reusable food containers or cups lớn customers, who return the containers after using them to collection points.

Citizens’ Workgroup on Reducing Excessive Consumption of Disposables

MSE & convened a Citizens’ Workgroup lớn address the issue of excessive consumption of disposables in September 2020. Comprising 55 members of the public from diverse backgrounds, the Workgroup exchanged ideas và consulted stakeholders over seven sessions. The Workgroup submitted its recommendations in January 2021. MSE & supported the Workgroup’s recommendations on educating the public on environmental sustainability, shaping behavioural change through nudges, supporting companies khổng lồ adopt solutions that reduce the need for packaging và disposables, developing and providing a “Reduction of Disposables” checklist for F&B establishments, as well as a disposable carrier bag charge at supermarkets.More information on the Workgroup’s recommendations và MSE &’s response can be found at

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Disposable Carrier Bag Charge at Supermarkets

A disposable carrier bag charge at supermarkets will be implemented in mid-2023. Supermarket operators with an annual turnover of more than $100 million will be required lớn charge a minimum of five cents for each disposable carrier bag provided for purchases at their physical stores. Lớn uphold transparency & accountability, the supermarket operators will also be required to publish information on the number of bags issued, amount of proceeds received from the bag charge, and how the proceeds are used. More information can be found here.