Singapore’s sole landfill is predicted to run out of space by 2035. Therefore, the Resource Sustainability Act mandated the reporting of packaging data and development plans in 2009 with the aim to reduce the impact of packaging waste.
To guide companies to meet the mandated reporting requirements, the Packaging Partnership Programme (PPP) organised a second workshop that was held on 16 December 2020.
More than 60 participants from different industries attended the workshop where industry experts from the World Wide Fund for Nature Singapore (WWF-SG) as well as The Coca-Cola Company presented their insights. The workshop covered topics such as the impact of packaging on the environment, as well as an overview of circular economy.
Dr Yvonne Lin explaining the common misconception about biodegradable, recyclability, and recycled content
During the webinar, a fireside chat was held with WWF-SG’s experts Dr Yvonne Lin and Ms Adeline Loo. Dr Lin touch on the topic of sustainable materials for packaging by starting off with debunking common misconceptions on biodegradability, recyclability, and recycled content. She also shared how companies can make use of the “Alternative Materials Tool (AMT)” to identify suitable packaging materials that have the least environmental impact. Singapore companies can make use of this tool to help with their mandatory 3R plan.
Dr Yvonne Lin and Ms Adeline Loo shared common feedback from companies when it comes to material selection for packaging
Ms Loo then brought up a point that companies lack knowledge on how to switch plastic packaging to alternative materials. Often, they have difficulties finding the right alternatives as the properties may not fulfill the requirements of the original packaging. The fireside chat concluded with the suggestion that the Reuse model should be chosen before resorting to alternatives, until a proper Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) can be conducted. As for food packaging, a standardisation on the type of plastics used is required in order to ease the process of recycling.
Dr Casper Durandt shared the PETCO business model that has been applied in many countries. One such country is South Africa
Director for Sustainable Packaging and Climate Protection for Southeast Asia Dr Casper Durandt from The Coca Cola Company, then shared the PETCO model as well as case studies with regard to recycling and the circular economy.
He shared that there has been an increase in recycling and collection of PET bottles in countries that had adopted the PETCO model. He also shared that the design of the packaging makes a big difference on the packaging’s recyclability. Therefore, PETCO set up guidelines to advise companies on the design as well as a grading system on how recyclable a packaging is.
The PPP conducts workshops and trainings regularly to familiarise companies with the MPR requirements and build industry capability in sustainable packaging waste management. If you would like to receive first-hand news on upcoming workshops and trainings, as well as the latest information on the MPR, sign up as a PPP member now!