S’pore’s increasing waste poses potential crisis [News]

July 4, 2013 by  
Filed under News

By Kok Xing Hui, TODAY, 3 Jul 2013.

The dense haze episode two weeks ago was a “special, extreme case of waste disposal gone wrong”, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan yesterday.

It was agricultural waste incinerated out in the open, leading to smog in the air that people were forced to breathe, said the minister, who cited the haze as an example of how the rising amount of waste generated posed a threat to the environment.

Speaking at the Waste Management Symposium and 3R Packaging Awards yesterday, he noted that the amount of waste generated per person per day currently has doubled from the World Bank estimate of 0.64kg a decade ago. The 0.64kg figure is expected to triple in the next 10 years.

This poses a potential environmental crisis, as air and environment quality is crucial in a world where half the people live in densely-populated cities. This compared to the past, when cities were less populated and “only a few are inconvenienced” if things went wrong.

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Source: TODAY

More Companies Adopt 3R Initiatives in Singapore as Waste Management Industry Explore Ways to Raise Productivity [Press Release]

July 4, 2013 by  
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Singapore, 2 July 2013 – Since the first Singapore Packaging Agreement inked in 2007, signatories have reduced a cumulative total of 14,900 tons of packaging waste, saving an equivalent of about $31 million to date. Today, 16 companies were recognised for their efforts and achievements in reducing packaging waste at the 3R Packaging Awards. The awards were presented by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, at the sidelines of Waste Management Symposium 2013, held at Max Atria at the Singapore Expo (see Annex A for list of winners).

2 The Singapore Packaging Agreement (SPA) provides a platform and structure for industries to reduce packaging waste from product packaging, and to raise awareness and educate consumers on the benefits of reducing packaging waste. Following its successful run from 2007 to 2012, signatories were keen to renew their commitment.

3 As a result, the second SPA commenced on 1 July 2012. The companies who signed the SPA will work together to achieve a total annual reduction of 6,500 tons of packaging waste by 2015. As of June 2013, the total annual amount of packaging waste reduced was about 4,800 tons. The participating companies achieved these results through various initiatives, such as reducing the size and thickness of their product packaging, switching to reusable packaging in logistical processes, or changing the way products are packaged. Read more

Why Singaporeans can’t say “No” to plastic bags [News]

July 4, 2013 by  
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By Kimberly Spykerman, Channel NewsAsia, 5 Jun 2013.

Singaporeans just can’t seem to do away with plastic bags, despite calls to do so to save Mother Earth.

Each year in Singapore, some 2.5 billion plastic bags are used which means vast quantities of non-renewable resources such as crude oil and natural gas are consumed to produce them.

The Singapore Environment Council wants to find out why and it has commissioned a research paper to understand attitudes toward plastic bag usage.

Some 200 people will be surveyed and the findings will be shared in September.

Based on the findings, the council will propose creative solutions to the government in tackling the problem.

Executive Director of Singapore Environment Council, Jose Raymond noted that while the use of plastic bags cannot be eradicated as many people see them as a necessary commodity, it is important to look at how to reduce the amount of plastic bag use in Singapore as it is a problem that is not being dealt with quickly enough.

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Source: Channel NewsAsia

Going green, Biomax turns poo to profit [News]

July 3, 2013 by  
Filed under News

By Toni Waterman, Channel NewsAsia, 16 May 2013.

Dr Puah Chum Mok, co-founder of Singapore-based Biomax, sure knows a lot about chicken poo.

“Each bird will poo about 45 grams a day,” he said.

Multiply that by the billions of chickens worldwide, and you’ve got a lot of poo on your hands.

To get rid of it, Dr Puah says, most people either burn it or bury it – both are bad options for the environment.

“Well, burning, you contribute to the atmospheric pollution. Burying it, well, after a few years, it will leach out and this will run off to the rivers, lakes and contaminate even your underground water system,” he said.

So Dr Puah came up with a better solution. He created a special cocktail of enzymes (known as BM1) and a machine to break down chicken poo in a natural way.

Here’s how it works: The chicken poo is collected and dumped into the digester. Sawdust is added into it to help absorb moisture. The enzymes go in next, and then the entire recipe is heated. Twenty-four hours later, 100% organic fertilizer is produced.

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Source: Channel NewsAsia