Today marks the second and last time I’m helping out with the Conversations on Sustainable Singapore series. There’s only three sessions; Energy and Climate Change (26th April), Waste and the 3Rs (4 May) and one more happening in 2 weeks time on Food Security (24 May), but I’m not helping out with that session. I have been planning to join in the Chek Jawa Boardwalk Trip with the Naked Hermit Crabs since March and am quite stubborn I want to join in the May session.. who knows how my schedule will look like June onwards.
Read last week’s post, and I am reminded I was not strict on time management last session. So today, I made sure I did better on that and ensure each participant had a more fair time to speak and share. Plus, I think that helped keep focus on getting a more SMART recommendation for inputs into the Singapore Sustainable Blueprint.
When it comes to sustainable development, Singapore follows this broad framework of growing the state in a clean, green, efficient way, by having long term integrated planning , being pragmatic and cost-effective as well as being flexible to changes in environment. For what it’s worth, we do have a comprehensive blueprint and the different agencies are working together towards implementing the suggestions since 2009. Today, we heard quite a suggestions to improve existing initiatives or introduce new ones. There were 5 groups today in total. Sharing some points shared by Group 1.
- Reduce total domestic waste disposed of per capita by 10%.
Over the last 5 years, it has been hovering around 0.85kg. “Buy what you need”, “Buy 2nd hand goods”, having Town Councils to organise regular flea markets were some of the suggestions to help reduce consumption, increase recycling rate, and reduce disposal of waste. In addition to this, we felt each household should also have their own recycling bins.
- Make green education, with established modules, compulsory in pre-schools and primary schools.
This point was also brought up in the last session. And I have been hearing this at different events as well. Currently some schools do engage external vendors to run environmental workshops, but we think there is a need to make it compulsory for all schools to have a common environmental knowledge core and inculcate this from young.
- 20% of food waste collected to be recycled.
Current recycling rate for food is about 13%. We feel that a lot more can be done to improve recycling rate for food. Someone mentioned a good place we can start off with is the SAF cook house 😀
- For all new government procurements, there should be a clause which states that it is mandatory for contractors to recycle and segregate waste.
- For the MICE industry, to make it mandatory for food and beverage department or caterers to not use individually wrapped sugar and creamer.
Recently, The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) launched the Sustainability Guidelines to serve as a reference guide for Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) industry players in Singapore. You can check out the guide here. There are seven MICE industry categories; Audio-Visual, Event and Activity Organiser, Exhibition, Conference and Convention Organiser, Food and Beverage, Hotel, Transport and Venue. The guide has sections such as Management Approach, Waste, Energy, Water, Community and Human Resources. It’s a good start. I just think the “basics” should be made “compulsory”.
Aside from the small group and big group discussions, we also had two presentations. One of it was by this company called Geometria.
Plus points on using eco materials and having visually pleasing designs. The products are adorable!
“..Geometria offers packaging designs and innovations that are inspired by the richness of heritage, while mindful of the fragility of nature...Geometria is the first company in Singapore to provide true earth-to-earth packaging for food. We take on a naturalist approach for our products, believing what comes from nature should return to nature in the same way.”