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Circular economy in Singapore

What is a "circular economy" and how does it promote sustainability?
As a small city-state, Singapore has always been acutely aware of the need to balance economic development and environmental sustainability. Countries like the Netherlands and Finland have already adopted this approach, driven by resource scarcity, volatile resource prices, and the environmental impact from extraction and excessive use of resources. Today, the circular economy is integral to Singapore’s Green Plan and Zero Waste Masterplan.

To overcome the challenges of climate change, Singapore is promoting a circular economy. This requires a seismic shift from the linear ‘take, make, waste’ mentality, to one where resources are reused for as long as possible.

Circular Economy in Singapore Image source: Circularity Asia

The circular economy is an alternative to the linear economy. It is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible. In this way, the life cycle of products is extended. Simply put, a circular economy implies keeping waste to a minimum.

Other than reducing waste, a circular economy delivers:

  • economic competition
  • better means of coping with resource security/scarcity issues
  • mitigation of environmental impacts

A circular economy approach will also provide Singapore with new economic opportunities by creating synergies across its water, energy, food and waste sectors to enhance resource efficiency.

© Adam Smith Center, Singapore
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