The Singapore Packaging Agreement signatories received the 3R Packaging Awards this morning at the Third Meeting of the Regional 3R Forum in Asia, held at Sheraton Towers Singapore for their efforts to reduce packaging waste.
The Singapore Packaging Agreement (SPA) is a voluntary programme by the industry, the National Environment Agency (NEA), and NGOs to reduce the amount of waste from product packaging through improvements in product packaging design and packaging processes. The annual 3R Packaging Awards have been presented by NEA since 2008 to recognise the signatories of SPA for their efforts.
For this year’s 3R Packaging Awards, 6 companies received the Distinction Award and 15 companies received the Merit Awards from Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources.
One of the Distinction Award winners, Asia Pacific Breweries (Singapore) Pte Ltd, initiated measures to reduce the thickness of the base of its cans, which is projected to save about 7.9 tons of aluminium packaging material per year. Two Merit Award winners, Winrigo (S) Pte Ltd and Prima Food Pte Ltd collaborated to recycle wheat bran, a by-product of Prima’s flour milling process, into biocomposite cake knives and bags used at Prima’s bakery outlets.
NEA also presented Platinum Awards to 3 companies and Gold Awards to 7 companies. Platinum Awards are presented to companies who have received the Distinction Award for two consecutive years, while Gold Awards are presented to companies who have received the Merit Award or better, for two consecutive years.
The 7 Gold Award winners are:
- Ha Li Fa Pte Ltd
- Hock Lian Huat Foodstuff Industry Pte Ltd
- Kentucky Fried Chicken Management Pte Ltd
- McDonald’s Restaurants Pte Ltd
- Starlite Printers (Far East) Pte Ltd
- Thong Siek Food Industry Pte Ltd
- Wyeth Nutritionals (Singapore) Pte Ltd
One of the winners, Ha Li Fa, implemented the use of reusable plastic baskets to hold its products for weighing instead of using plastic bags that would be disposed after a single use, thus reducing 1.47 tons of plastic packaging waste each year. Another winner, Wyeth, reduced the thickness of its carton boxes used to pack canned products, and reduced paper packaging by 165 tons per year.
The 3 Platinum Award winners are:
- Nestle Singapore (Pte) Ltd
- Sunfresh Singapore Pte Ltd
- Tetra Pak Jurong Pte Ltd
Nestle has implemented several initiatives to reduce packaging, including the use of thinner tin cans for its MILO products and saving 25 tons of tin per year, and the modification of the production line of its MILO soft pack to reduce material losses and reducing 20 tons of laminate wastage a year.
Tetra Pak also implemented various initiatives such as recovering the polyethylene plastic used to laminate beverage carton packaging for reuse in the packaging production process, thus reducing plastic waste by 380 tons per year. Another winner, Sunfresh, eliminated the amount of paper packaging by 43 tons per year, through shifting the use of carton boxes to the use of large carton bins to store its oranges for producing orange juice.
The 3-day Regional 3R Forum in Asia is co-organized by the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), the Ministry of the Environment of the Government of Japan (MoEJ), and the National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore. At the 3R Forum, policy makers, non-governmental organizations, as well as international experts in waste and resource management, will identify policies, frameworks and opportunities for partnerships to promote technology transfer and adoption in the region.