Oral Reply to Parliamentary Question on Single Use Items in Public Sector Catering by Mr Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and the Environment
Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) whether she can provide an update on the progress that the public service has made in eliminating single-use items from their catering events; and (b) what is the timeline for completely eliminating single-use items from all public service catering events.
1 The public sector is committed to reducing its waste. Under GreenGov.SG, the public sector has set a target to reduce the amount of waste disposed of by 30% by 2030, compared to 2022 levels. To meet this target, we are focusing on waste reduction, as well as recycling measures. These include requiring public sector buildings with food and beverage establishments to segregate their food waste for treatment, as well as not providing bottled or packaged water for meetings.
2 Apart from these measures, we also recognise that public sector events are key touchpoints and bringing reusables or eliminating single-use items from catering events are important markers for behaviour change. As such, public agencies are encouraged to follow the practices in the Best Practice Guide for Organising Environmentally-Friendly Events, unless event conditions make some practices unfeasible. The list of practices includes requesting participants to bring their own reusable cups, cutlery and containers, and to provide recycling bins if bottled water must be provided. Understandably, it remains a challenge to completely eliminate single-use items from all public service catering events, especially if the venues do not have adequate washing facilities. We will continue to regularly review our strategies and guidelines, including to reduce single-use items, to further advance the public sector’s waste reduction ambitions.