Tackling the Waste Crisis in Singapore and Asia-Pacific
The waste challenge in Asia Pacific is urgent, systemic and complex. Waste generation in Asia Pacific is expected to outpace national management strategies and capacities in the next few decades.
Global trends are signalling a destabilisation of ‘business-as-usual’ models of linear consumption and production. Businesses will need to step up and respond through innovations in technology and business models.
New business models are reshaping markets and enabling the transition to a circular economy, which presents a US$4.5 trillion opportunity for the global economy.
On 1 April 2019, the Chief Executive of the National Environment Agency (NEA), Mr Tan Meng Dui, addressed a select audience of business stakeholders on the Singapore government’s efforts toward a zero waste nation, as part of the Ecosperity Conversations series organised by Temasek.
The session discussed the long-term waste management outlook for Singapore, supportive policies and grants in place for businesses to incorporate circular approaches, pilot projects that the government is spearheading to reduce waste nationwide, and the importance of public campaigns to educate consumers. A 3P approach towards a zero waste nation was advocated.
Drawing on insights from Mr Tan’s presentation, this summary report considers the issues he raised within the context of Singapore, and extends the discussion to the broader waste challenges, as well as impact and opportunities for businesses in the wider Asia Pacific region. Businesses in Singapore and the region clearly have an important role in addressing the challenge. This report therefore pays specific attention to how businesses may fulfil this by systemically embedding circular economy approaches into their own organisations and critically, into the ecosystems they exist within.