Will 2020 be the year Singapore finally bans the use of Single-Use Plastic and Styrofoam in Supermarkets & Eateries?
According to a recent Bloomberg report with statistics collected from the WorldBank in 2016, Singapore is the world's largest producer of solid waste per capita, ranking higher than countries like USA and China. This coupled with the fact that places like Hong Kong & Thailand have long since banned the use of single-use plastic in supermarket prompted Rob Khoo of SolarPVExchange, to start a petition to ask the Singapore government to consider banning the use of single-use plastic and styrofoam in supermarkets and eateries.
The following article is extracted from Rob's petition and hence is written in the first person perspective.
How massive is Singapore's 1,400kg of waste*?*(This is the amount of waste produced per capita in Singapore according to the Bloomberg report)
In 2016, Singapore was the worst waste producer per capita, having produced 1,400kg of waste per capita. To put things into perspective, with 1,400kg of waste per capita, it means everyone in Singapore will generate about 1 medium-sized saloon car (made of waste) every year. Assuming the average lifespan of us is about 70 years*, each of us will then generate about 70 medium-sized saloon cars (made of waste) in our lifetime (this is just based on a simple straight line projection, which of course the number will differ in different age group.). And if we multiply that by Singapore's population of about 5.5M*, we would roughly produce about 385 million medium-sized saloon cars made of waste. Can you imagine 385 million cars (made of waste) in Singapore? Note: we have about 1M cars on the road in Singapore so multiply that by 385 times. Where would we find the space to store/dump this 385 million medium-sized saloon cars? And this number will continue to grow if we don't take steps to reduce it.
Places like Hong Kong & Thailand have already started banning single-use plastic, will Singapore be one of the last few to join in?
Next, just after the Bloomberg graphic went live on my (Rob) social media, a friend remarked that HK has already stopped the use of plastic bags in supermarket many years ago and Singapore is still lagging behind. This comment literally put the final nail in the coffin for me. We are years behind in banning one-time plastic in supermarkets. Some even may say that we are prehistoric in this action plan & I certainly hope we don’t become the last country in the world to ban single-use plastic and styrofoam. As such, I would like to ask you to help sign and share this petition requesting the government of Singapore to consider banning the use of single-use plastic and styrofoam at least in supermarket and eateries to start with.
By now, I think many of us know that it is possible to replace the use of one-time plastic and styrofoam with our reusable bags and containers when we shop or do takeaways. And next, I also know that the authorities have also commented before that the plastic bags are necessary for us to use to dispose of waste as most of us stay in HDB/condos. However I think that can be overcome with alternative waste management systems and processes which might affect the way we handle our waste materials. Just take look at some of our neighbors and you will find that there are already solutions and already in place.
The Corvid-19 Situation effect...
Next, this Corvid-19 situation would also be the best time to do this coz many of us are doing more takeaways and grocery shopping than before and hence our one-time plastic use and styrofoam would naturally increase As well. So since we already changing the way we work and live, let's add one more item and change the way we handle the use of single use plastic and styrofoam right now. Last but not least, I also strongly believe that if we manage to convince our Singapore government to do this and if our government wants to do this, they will make it work and not only that they make our system even better. Who knows? We might come out as a model for others to follow (yes I know, one thing at a time)...
If any organisation can do it, our Singapore government definitely can do it and maybe create a new sustainable model for all to see...
Last but not least, I also strongly believe that if we manage to convince our Singapore government to do this and if our government wants to do this, they will make it work and make it even better. Who knows? We might even come out with a model for others in the region to follow.
So once again, I hope you can sign and share this Petition to ban single-use plastics and Styrofoam in supermarkets and eateries in Singapore. I know I may not succeed this time, but this is part of a process and I hope one day (hopefully sooner than later), we can get this across the line and no longer have Singapore listed as the number 1 country on this chart.