MP Louis Ng’s speech during the debates on MSE’s Budget
I have asked several times in this House for the government to disclose data on the top emitters in Singapore. As I mentioned during the climate change motion, Singaporeans increasingly live their lives in a sustainable way. They should be given more information with which to make their consumption decisions.
The UK already requires all big companies to include emissions data in their annual reports, and the EU provides large amounts of emissions data on all facilities level across its member states. The German Institute of Economic Research has found that such company-level disclosures work, reducing emissions by 17% permanently.
The government has shared that company-level emissions release reveal confidential business performance.
In this case, I propose that we publish a ranking of the top emitters without sharing their exact emissions level. This allows the public to make more informed consumption decisions without compromising the business confidentiality of our businesses.
Will the Ministry consider this proposal? It strikes a fair balance between the trade-offs.
As Singapore pursues its Smart Nation initiative, we must also be smart about how we manage our e-waste.
We generate more than 60,000 tonnes of e-waste annually. This astounding amount of e-waste will only increase.
If not handled properly, e-waste contains small amounts of harmful substances that can threaten our health and our environment.
I am heartened to hear that the government has been building up its ewaste recycling facilities capabilities. I’ve been raising this issue in Parliament since 2016 and I’m glad the MSE announced that the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) framework for e-waste will be implemented from July this year. Can MSE share whether we are on track to meet this target?
Can the Ministry also share its plans for how it will raise awareness on the EPR and make recycling e-waste convenient for all so that we can all do our part to make the EPR a success?
Reducing consumption of disposables
Last year, I shared with the House about the Zero Waste Masterplan in Nee Soon East. I talked about how we saved 39,792 disposables since the launch of our Zero Waste Masterplan in April 2019. COVID-19 threw a spanner in the works but we will restart the Zero Waste Masterplan once we can.
I commend MSE for putting together a diverse Citizens’ Workgroup to tackle this issue of excessive consumption of disposables.
How will the Ministry incorporate the recommendations from the recently concluded Citizens’ Workgroup into its plans to better manage disposables in Singapore?
Will the public service take the lead by committing to end the use of all disposables at all public service events?
The Ministry also announced that it will put in place a Deposit Refund Scheme for beverage containers by 2022 as the first phase of the Extended Producer Responsibility framework for packaging waste, including plastics.
Can the Ministry share more details on the progress of this?
Tackling food waste
Food waste is one of the biggest sources of waste in Singapore. In 2019, we generated over 700,000 tonnes of food waste.
I am currently working on a Private Member’s Bill to tackle food waste and hope to introduce a Good Samaritan Food Donation Bill. We have completed our first round of consultations and I’m glad to have strong support from civil society and industry players.
I am also glad to see the government taking active steps to address food waste. MSE announced that it would introduce mandatory food waste segregation requirements for large commercial and industrial premises.
Beyond segregation, it is also important for companies to be aware of the amount of food waste they dispose of.
Food waste represents a cost to companies. Data about food waste generated will help companies to better manage their processes to reduce waste. This is both a win for sustainability and for companies’ bottom lines.
Will the Ministry consider requiring companies that have to segregate food waste for treatment to also report the amount of food waste segregated?
Watch the speech here.