Over recent years, the zero waste movement has been growing, not only in Singapore, but worldwide. The local businesses in Singapore are encouraged to make a switch to a sustainable lifestyle. The Ministry of Environment and Water Resources decided to launch the Zero Waste Master Plan in 2019, to encourage both companies and individuals to take part in the initiative. But in order to understand if this plan will be successful or not, it is important to see if the Singaporeans are willing to change their lifestyle. The phrase “zero waste” was used quite a lot in the last years in Singapore, because both international and local companies have searched for ways to protect the environment and to reduce the waste they are producing.
In case there are readers who are not familiar with the “zero waste” phrase, you should know that this initiative has the purpose to change the way people are using certain materials, and how they flow through the society. It is important to prevent the creation of unnecessary surplus and to reuse and recycle when it is possible.
The statistics are worrying, only in 2017 Singapore produced around 7,7 tons of waste, and this includes papers, textiles, food, electronics and other similar products. It is an alarming amount considering the size of the country; therefore, it was essential to understand what the factors that lead to this are.
How can Singaporeans cut the waste?
Because nowadays the “zero waste” campaign is promoted, more and more people consider it appealing, and they try to cut the waste they produce individually. However, not only individuals are making efforts, but companies are also doing their best to reduce the waste. For example, KFC decided to offer their drinks in cups without straws. It is a surprise for the foreigners who are visiting Singapore. When they got their Singapore visa this was not one of the things included in the things you should expect to see when landing here. They knew that Singaporeans do not care about the amount of plastic they use. Things have started to change.
Another change Singaporeans have started to make is that they prefer to bring their own reusable cups at work, or even when they get their morning coffee. They buy a cup they can easily fit in their bag, and they wash it instead of throwing it.
They admit that some habits die hard
Singaporeans state that they are willing to change some aspects of their life to cut waste, and 2 in 3 people asked state that they have changed at least 1 thing in their life to cut the waste. But they also admit that they have faced some barriers, for example, some people cannot give up on using shampoo and conditioner, and they are products that come in plastic bottles. They understand the benefits they will have, if they adopt this lifestyle, but it is a process that takes time, because it requires an initial investment and a lot of effort. They state that the Government should show them more support, because they are the ones who need to promote schemes that help citizens recycle.