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E-waste Recycling February 02, 2018 03:30:24 PM

New Laws Likely to Boost Singapore's E-Waste Recycling Rates

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
The Minister has proposed the introduction of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) as one among the several solutions. This in turn would result in manufacturers taking physical and financial responsibility of the proper treatment or disposal of electrical and electronic products as they reach their end-of-life.
New Laws Likely to Boost Singapore's E-Waste Recycling Rates

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): In an attempt to tackle rising e-waste volumes, Singapore has decided to introduce new regulations aimed at boosting the country’s e-waste recycling rates. The announcement to this effect was made by Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources during a consultation session held Thursday. The Minister stated that the government aims to introduce much-awaited regulations intended to strengthen e-waste management.

The Minister has proposed the introduction of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) as one among the several solutions. This in turn would result in manufacturers taking physical and financial responsibility of the proper treatment or disposal of electrical and electronic products as they reach their end-of-life. In addition, the producers could promote better end-of-life use of their products by incorporating durability and ease of recycling during their design phase itself. Also, informal sector will be integrated with the system by providing necessary training on proper collection and recycling techniques.

ALSO READ: Singapore's Newly Launched Recycling Initiative Targets to Collect 50,000 kg of E-Waste

The move is considered timely as Singapore is one of the largest e-waste generators in the region. As per estimates, the country generates nearly 60,000 tonnes of e-waste every year, out of which only around 6% is recycled. The country throws away 26% of its e-waste. The recent study conducted by the National Environment Agency (NEA) during the period from April 2016 to October 2017 had revealed that six out of ten Singaporeans do not know how to recycle their electronic waste.

Although there are around 400 e-waste collection points across the country, many consumers are either unaware of it or do not find them convenient, according to the survey. The participants at the consultation demanded that the e-waste collection points be made more visible and accessible for consumers. Moreover, they demanded timely improvement in collection infrastructure at these facilities. Meantime, the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) and NEA will carryout a detailed study of best practices adopted by other countries.

Among the various categories of e-waste generated in the country, Washing machines accounted for 32%, whereas refrigerators represented 27% of the total e-waste stream. Surprisingly, the country still lacks a collection system for larger household appliances.

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