Sustainability has been the trending keyword, and Singapore has been trying to work on that.
With recent implementations like being charged at least five cents for taking a plastic bag at most supermarkets, it is apparent that our country is striving to go green.
There’s something else to look out for in the next few years.
On Tuesday (21 March), NEA announced that from April 2025, Singapore would be kickstarting the beverage container return scheme (Scheme).
Here’s what you need to know.
What Is the Beverage Container Return Scheme?
In a recent Committee of Supply Debate speech, Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, shared that the beverage container return scheme is part of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) framework to achieve sustainable practices in handling packaging waste.
This will also help to “cultivate recycling habits and aggregate clean and high-quality recyclables, which can be made into new products.”
In case you didn’t know, the EPR framework is targeted at ensuring producers, including manufacturers and importers, are responsible for the collection and end-of-life management of their products on the market.
Naturally, this means that it is compulsory for producers of pre-packaged beverages to join the beverage container return scheme.
Well, what does that mean for us?
As consumers of these pre-packaged beverages, a deposit of ten cents will be added to the prices of bottled and canned drinks starting from 1 April 2025. The money will be refunded when the empty bottle or can is returned at designated return points.
According to NEA, this applies to pre-packaged beverages in plastic bottles and metal cans that range from 150 millilitres to three litres.
There will be a deposit mark on the packaging to help consumers identify which drinks are covered under the Scheme and eligible for deposit refunds. A barcode will also be included to aid the return of empty bottles and cans, and it serves as an anti-fraud measure as well.
There will be a transitionary period between 1 April 2025, and 30 June 2025, whereby older unlabelled drinks will be cleared. These beverages do not carry deposits and are also not applicable for deposit refunds.
NEA shared that bigger supermarkets with floor areas above 200m2 would need to set up return points. They will also continue working with the Scheme Operator to open more return points to increase accessibility to these stations.
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