Waste has a huge negative impact on the environment as there are a lot of harmful chemicals and greenhouse gases that are released from rubbish. Hence, it is imperative that we do our part to reduce waste and increase our recycling efforts.
As it was World Environment Day on June 5, this month we are shining the spotlight on sustainability.
In Singapore, the government has set targets of achieving a 70 per cent national recycling rate and a 30 per cent domestic recycling rate by 2030. Zero Waste SG, a local independent charity, aims to drive the zero waste movement in Singapore through education and advocacy, focusing on the areas of food waste, plastic disposables, household recycling and organisational waste. Pek Hai Lin, manager of Zero Waste SG, shares her insights on how you can play a part.
The best way to reduce waste is at its source. Think twice before buying anything, even if it’s on sale! Avoid hoarding as it encourages throwing away instead of reusing items.
Reuse shoe boxes, or other boxes that your purchases come in, to organise your home.
Consider purchasing home decor items at places like Salvation Army or Carousell. Many of the secondhand pieces are in excellent condition, and you can save money too while giving them a new lease of life!
Declutter at the source by bringing your own grocery bags, and take plastic trash bags only when you need them.
When heading down to your nearest eatery for a takeaway, consider bringing a container along to reduce single-use disposables.
The proper way is to drain liquids from wet waste first, then bag it so it doesn’t touch the dry waste. More than 80% of dry waste can be recycled.
Before sending items for recycling, ensure the items are clean and dry. There should be no food waste inside as it will contaminate the rest of the recyclables!
If your recycling bin is a blue bin that you see around estates, you can mix metal, plastic, paper and glass together.
Items like clean clothes, soft toys, mattresses and furniture can be donated at various places in Singapore instead of being placed in the blue bins, as they cannot be recycled.
Dispose of your electronic waste at various recycling points island-wide — find out where they’re located at, on the National Environmental Agency (NEA) website. When disposing of rechargeable batteries, tape the ends first so as to ensure that they won’t be a potential fire hazard.
This article was first published in Home and Decor.