Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Reduce Use of Single-use Packaging in Companies by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment
Mr Yip Hon Weng: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) how have the Packaging Partnership Programme and the Resource Sustainability Act impacted the amount of single-use plastics produced by companies; and (b) what further measures are planned to reduce the use of single-use products and packaging materials by enterprises.
1 Under the Mandatory Packaging Reporting (MPR) scheme in the Resource Sustainability Act, producers of packaged products as well as retailers such as supermarkets, are required to submit to the National Environment Agency (NEA) their annual packaging data and plans to reduce, reuse, or recycle (3R) packaging, including plastics. The MPR scheme raises the awareness of companies on the amount of packaging materials used and encourages them to reduce usage. Companies submitted their inaugural reports in 2022. We will monitor the progress of their 3R trends and plans in upcoming reporting cycles.
2 The Packaging Partnership Programme (PPP), an industry capability-building programme launched in 2021, supports companies in adopting sustainable packaging practices. To date, the PPP has conducted about 20 events, including webinars, training sessions, conferences, and site visits; and developed resources such as the 3R Guidebook for Packaging. These initiatives have benefited more than 700 companies, and facilitated the exchange of best practices in sustainable packaging.
3 The shift towards more sustainable business practices requires the collective effort of all stakeholders. Some retailers have already started to voluntarily charge for disposable carrier bags. To take our efforts to the next level, the Government will be introducing legislation to require large supermarkets to charge for disposable carrier bags from mid-2023, to reduce consumption of disposable carrier bags. Details will be announced shortly. Partners of NEA’s “Say YES to Waste Less” campaign have also introduced initiatives to discourage the use of disposables such as bags, cups, and takeout containers.
4 We will continue to work with the industry to explore initiatives which reduce the use of disposables and single-use packaging.