Calling it the potential “first phase of an extended producer responsibility (EPR) approach to manage packaging waste,” the National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore has issued a timeline for setting up a deposit-return scheme (DRS) for beverage containers in the Asian country.
Saying it wants to implement its DRS by mid-2024, the NEA says a like deposit amount would be in the range of 10 to 20 Singapore cents (7 to 14 United States cents), and the system would target aluminum cans and plastic bottles.
In terms of covered items, the NEA is proposing “metal cans and plastic bottles that are 150 milliliters to 3 liters (5 ounces to 0.8 gallons) be included due to their high material value and high level of consumption, as well as the ease of collection and compaction. Beverage cartons and glass bottles could be considered in a later phase.”
Within that size range, the agency says the initial DRS should cover “all pre-packaged beverages (including beer, concentrate, fruit juice, milk/dairy, soft drinks, spirits, water, and wine),” and that an identifying mark on such contains is recommended.
Regarding return methods, the agency is recommending reverse vending machines (RVMs), although it also is calling for over-the-counter return systems at larger retail locations.
The NEA is providing a forum for Singaporeans to comment on the proposed system until October 14.