You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Study shows Singapore consumers can’t discern how to recycle packaging properly, many find too much packaging for most products

The Independent logo The Independent 5/8/2022 Hana O
© The Independent Singapore

A recent study by the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) showed that Singaporeans consider many products to have too much packaging and are willing to purchase those with more sustainable packaging.

On Aug 2, SEC launched the “Unlocking Opportunities for Sustainable Packaging in Singapore” report, which aims to uncover insights to understand better the current consumer attitudes around packaging and packaging waste.

The report underlined the urgent need for businesses to explore more sustainable options for packaging while increasing consumer education to raise awareness of local recycling capabilities.

The study, consisting of 1,116 respondents answering two surveys from June to August 2021, highlighted a lack of knowledge among the public on how to recycle packaging properly.

About 17 per cent of the respondents thought Styrofoam containers were recyclable, while only 36 per cent and 45 per cent of them said bubble wrap and plastic envelopes were recyclable.

Meanwhile, 78 per cent of the respondents admitted they couldn’t discern the recyclability of a particular item based on the information on the packaging.

The study noted that Singapore generated 6.94 million tonnes of solid waste in 2021. “This is equivalent to the emissions from a dumpster truck travelling 352 times around the circumference of the earth,” said SEC.

The top challenges that deter consumers from recycling include the effort needed to wash and clean recyclables (23 per cent), the uncertainty of what can separate recyclables from other waste (21 per cent) and bringing recyclables to the recycle bin (15 per cent).

However, an overwhelming 80 per cent of respondents said they would actively participate in a take-back scheme if collection points were convenient or accessible.

Interestingly, the study also revealed that overpackaging is a major concern among consumers, with 70 per cent of respondents believing there should be a reduction in packaging material for most of the products they buy.

On more sustainable packaging options, 95 per cent of respondents said they would be more inclined to purchase such products.

However, 53 per cent are only inclined to buy a product with certified sustainable packaging if it is not more expensive.

“With over half a million tonnes of domestic packaging waste disposed in 2021, packaging waste remains a complex challenge in Singapore, and one that will require collaboration

across multiple stakeholders to overcome,” said SEC Executive Director Jen Teo.

“By shedding light on consumer attitudes and behaviour, we hope to raise awareness and spur both businesses and consumers to reduce packaging waste.” /TISG

The post Study shows Singapore consumers can’t discern how to recycle packaging properly, many find too much packaging for most products appeared first on The Independent Singapore News - Latest Breaking News

MORE FROM THE INDEPENDENT

The Independent
The Independent
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon