Manufacturers and retailers report packaging use for new scheme to cut waste

SINGAPORE – A scheme requiring firms to report the quantity of packaging they use has lastly kicked off, a 12 months after it was delayed due to the pandemic.

The first stories below the Mandatory Packaging Reporting scheme have been submitted to the National Environment Agency (NEA) by March 31 this 12 months.

Producers of packaged merchandise that had to submit stories have been model homeowners, producers, importers, in addition to retailers akin to supermarkets whose gross annual income is above $10 million.

The stories element the kind and quantity of packaging firms use for their merchandise in Singapore, and their plans to cut back, reuse or recycle them.

Examples of packaging that should be reported embrace plastic luggage, bottles, carton packing containers, ribbons, labels and tape.

This comes on the heels of different strikes to cut back packaging waste in Singapore, akin to a disposable bag cost at giant supermarkets from mid-2023.

With extra individuals turning to on-line purchasing, managing packaging waste is changing into a rising problem.

Singapore’s home recycling charge final 12 months was 13 per cent, a 10-year low and unchanged from 2020 figures.

Packaging waste made up a couple of third of the 1.82 million tonnes of home waste thrown away in 2021.

Singapore’s solely landfill, Semakau, is predicted to run out by 2035 on the present charge of waste technology.

The annual packaging submissions will pave the best way for an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme for managing packaging waste, which will probably be applied no later than 2025.

The EPR serves to enhance recycling charges for packaging, and cut back the quantity of package deal waste despatched to the landfill.

Following the primary spherical of report submissions, Mr Colin Goh, a chief engineer from NEA’s Waste Management Division stated on Monday (April 25) that the company will work intently with firms to enhance the accuracy of the packaging information submitted, and handle any gaps within the stories.

NEA can even evaluation the present reporting course of and suggestions acquired from firms.

Mr Goh was talking at a digital dialogue organised by NEA and the Singapore Manufacturing Federation below their Packaging Partnership Programme, which helps firms fulfil their annual reporting obligations, in addition to future EPR necessities.

Packaging Partnership Programme chairman Matt Kovac stated since this was the primary time firms submitted the stories, there have been some teething points.

Some corporations – particularly those who use totally different types of packaging and supplies – struggled with calculating and reporting them precisely.

“Some companies were probably a little bit worried because the implication through the Mandatory Packaging Reporting is that they are going to be audited as well. And no one wanted to make mistakes.”

Mr Kovac additionally stated some smaller firms which might be simply over the $10 million turnover threshold didn’t handle to submit their stories by March 31, and NEA gave them a brief grace interval.

He famous that smaller firms could not have the assets or experience to deal with the reporting course of.

Some firms that have been busy operating their companies could have left the obligatory reporting to the final minute, he added.

“The majority of companies understand that this was a helpful exercise for them to understand their packaging footprint, and how to reduce that in the future, and every year when they go through the reporting,” stated Mr Kovac.

The Packaging Partnership Programme gives assets to assist firms grasp the reporting scheme. These embrace workshops, coaching and a packaging guidebook co-developed with NEA.

Quite a few firms which might be on the obligatory reporting scheme additionally attended the digital dialogue on Monday.

They included ExxonMobil and Singapore Airlines in-flight retailer KrisShop, which shared its finest practices.

In packing merchandise, KrisShop has changed bubble wrap with a biodegradable paper wrapper that has an outer honeycomb construction.

This permits the wrapping paper to be twisted into place, without having to be secured by tape.

Mr Kovac stated the transfer to discover extra sustainable types of packaging won’t essentially translate into greater costs for customers. KrisShop, for occasion, determined to soak up the price of the honeycomb wrapping paper.

But with inflation and ongoing international provide chain points, price can be a priority now, he added.

“If you were to revolutionise or innovate different types of packaging materials, there may be a cost implication that has to be passed on to the consumer, but that is within the dynamic environment of today,” stated Mr Kovac, noting that costs of supplies are excessive now due to the worldwide state of affairs.

The EPR for packaging waste will begin with a return scheme for drink containers, akin to bottles and cans, that’s anticipated to begin subsequent 12 months.

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