by Sara Fam
On July 12, 2016, the National Environment Agency (NEA) announced that it will be introducing new requirements, which will come into force within the next three to five years, in order to increase sustainability in packaging waste management. The purpose of these new requirements is for Singapore to achieve its goal of becoming a Zero Waste Nation. With the new requirements, the NEA is hoping to reduce "the growth of packaging waste at source." The NEA has been receiving positive feedback from industries on various actions to be taken in order to decrease waste.
In 2007, the first Singapore Packaging Agreement (SPA) was introduced and took effect for five years. On July 1, 2012, a second Agreement went into effect due to the expiration of the first Agreement. The second agreement was originally due to expire on June 30, 2015, but it was extended for five more years until June 30, 2020, in order "to enable the signatories to build on the good work achieved so far." There are 177 signatories of the Agreement, which include "businesses, industry associations, non-governmental organizations and public waste collectors." These signatories have collectively decreased about 32,000 tons of packaging waste since the Agreement came into effect. The NEA will work together with industries in developing more capabilities in the 3Rs of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle through the second SPA.