Zero Waste SG is a local independent charity which aims to drive the zero waste movement in Singapore through education and advocacy, focusing on the areas of food waste, plastic disposables, household recycling and organisational waste.

Manager Pek Hai Lin shares her insights on how individuals can do their part in reducing waste.

10 tips on reducing waste in Singapore

1. Avoid hoarding
The best way to reduce waste is at its source. Think twice before buying anything, even if it’s on sale! Avoid hoarding as it encourages throwing away instead of reusing items.

2. Tidy up with repurposed shoe boxes
Reuse shoe boxes, or other boxes that your purchases come in, to organise your home.

3. Go second-hand
Consider purchasing home decor items at places like Salvation Army or Carousell. Many of the secondhand pieces are in excellent condition, and you can save money too while giving them a new lease of life!

Photo: Priscilla Du Preez for Unsplash

4. Invest in reusable bags
Declutter at the source by bringing your own grocery bags, and take plastic trash bags only when you need them.

5. Cut down on disposables
When heading down to your nearest eatery for a takeaway, consider bringing a container along to reduce single-use disposables. 

6. Separate wet and dry waste
The proper way is to drain liquids from wet waste first, then bag it so it doesn’t touch the dry waste. More than 80% of dry waste can be recycled.

Photo:  lightfieldstudios /123rf.com

7. Check recyclables
Before sending items for recycling, ensure the items are clean and dry. There should be no food waste inside as it will contaminate the rest of the recyclables!

8. Recycling tip
If your recycling bin is a blue bin that you see around estates, you can mix metal, plastic, paper and glass together. 

Photo: v2osk/Unsplash

9. Get rid of unwanted items responsibly
Items like clean clothes, soft toys, mattresses and furniture can be donated at various places in Singapore instead of being placed in the blue bins, as they cannot be recycled. 

10. Electronic waste
Dispose of your electronic waste at various recycling points island-wide — find out where they’re located at, on the National Environmental Agency (NEA) website. When disposing of rechargeable batteries, tape the ends first so as to ensure that they won’t be a potential fire hazard.