Written reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on Tax on Plastic Packaging Products, on 2 November 2020
Mr Don Wee: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment whether the Ministry will consider introducing a tax on plastic packaging products in view of their negative environmental impact.
1 Addressing packaging waste, including plastic packaging, is a priority for my Ministry. We take a multi-pronged approach, from encouraging upstream reduction in excessive consumption, to ensuring proper end-of-life management.
2 We have announced the introduction of an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) framework in Singapore to manage packaging waste including plastics, which will be implemented no later than 2025.
3 We are actively studying and considering various EPR approaches, taking reference from the experience of other jurisdictions. Some jurisdictions price in the environmental costs via a tax. Under this approach, there is no obligation for producers to ensure the subsequent collection and recycling of the packaging waste. Other jurisdictions require producers to pay an appointed organisation for take-back of packaging waste and to ensure that the waste is recycled properly. Finally, some other jurisdictions impose collection or recycling targets on producers and downstream recyclers. Compared to the tax approach, the two latter approaches provide more certainty on waste recovery outcomes, create an incentive for producers to reduce their packaging usage, and improve recycling facilities and processes. This will promote a circular economy approach to packaging waste management.
4 We are still developing the EPR framework for packaging waste and will share further details when ready.