Singapore’s government declared that 2019 was going to be the “Year of Zero Waste.” But China’s ban on waste imports could disrupt that plan.
Singapore has sought out waste reduction initiatives due to its only landfill filling up a decade faster than anticipated, according to an Inkstone report. To help solve the problem, Singapore’s government has revamped its recycling initiatives in recent years by constructing a $2.22 billion integrated waste management facility, food waste recycling machines and passing a new e-waste law.
However, Singapore has seen such low levels of recycling that it is still not economically viable to run a recycling business there, which is why recyclables are shipped elsewhere, the report notes. And the problem could worsen under China’s National Sword and Thailand following suit with a ban on e-waste and plastics.
Inkstone has more details:
China’s ban on waste imports in 2018 has sent some nations, including the United States, scrambling for somewhere else to send their trash.
Malaysia soon became the top alternative destination for plastics, but it has begun sending waste back to its country of origin, refusing to be a “dumping ground” for developed countries.
Now Singapore may be affected too. The Lion City’s recyclables are currently shipped to countries like Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia, which are then processed and sold to manufacturers.