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Singapore’s waste streams

There are three main waste streams in Singapore – food waste, packaging waste and electronic or 'e-waste'.
© Adam Smith Center, Singapore

Singapore’s three major streams include food waste, packaging waste and electronic or ‘e-waste’.

Food waste

Food waste refers to food that is fit for consumption but consciously discarded at the retail or consumption phases. In Singapore, various food courts and eateries now separate their food waste with the use of on-site treatment systems. These systems convert food waste into liquid nutrient and compost for landscaping purposes or non-potable water. Similar initiatives are also seen in residential areas, including a food recycling project in Tampines GreenLace. The initiative has yielded encouraging results, with one in three households using the recycling bins at least once a week.

Packaging waste

Packaging waste refers to the waste that consists of packaging and packaging material. The Singapore Packaging Agreement was introduced in 2007 to reduce waste through the re-design of manufacturing and packaging processes. Since its inception, more than 200 organisations have reduced their packaging waste. As of 2019, they have cumulatively reduced about 54,000 tonnes of packaging waste, resulting in estimated savings of $130 million for locally consumed products. Building on this, businesses, grassroots organisations and NGOs have also encouraged Singaporeans to bring their own bags for shopping and marketing.


E-waste refers to electrical and electronic waste, such as computers, laptops, mobile phones and television sets. To raise the convenience of recycling e-waste, the RENEW programme was launched in 2012 by the NEA in collaboration with corporations like StarHub and DHL. Collection bins for electronic waste have been rolled out island-wide. Producer Responsibility Framework, which is part of the Resource Sustainability Act, mandates that producers take financial or physical responsibility for the end-of-life treatment of their products.

© Adam Smith Center, Singapore
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