Written reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on Incentivising Use of Environment-Friendly Food and Drink Containers, on 4 September 2020
Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment whether the Ministry will consider incentivizing the use of environment-friendly food and drink containers such as washable or reusable containers.
Written Reply by Minister Grace Fu:
My Ministry and the National Environment Agency (NEA) have been actively promoting the use of reusable containers in place of disposables. For example, NEA has disallowed the use of disposables for dine-in meals at all its new hawker centres and for cooked food stallholders who started their tenancies in any hawker centre from September 2018.
2 Through the nation-wide “Say YES to Waste Less” campaign” launched in 2019, operators of over 1,600 premises have partnered NEA to encourage consumers to bring along reusables and decline disposables when ordering food for takeaway or delivery. Under this campaign, many Food & Beverage establishments have taken the lead to incentivise consumers who bring reusable containers. For example, Starbucks offers a $0.50 discount to customers who bring their own cups or tumblers, and SaladStop! offers a free topping for customers who bring their own bowls for takeaway orders. We are heartened by the initiatives and commitment of the private sector and encourage more companies to join in this effort.
3 Addressing the excessive consumption of disposables remains a priority of my Ministry and NEA. A Citizens’ Workgroup to look into measures to check the excessive consumption of disposables will be convened this month. We look forward to hearing their ideas on how we can encourage everyone to play his or her part to reduce the use of disposables, including incentivising the use of environment-friendly food and drink containers.