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Green Is The New Black

2019, The Year of Zero Waste in Singapore

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With the conclusion of the Year of Climate Action in 2018 for Singapore, what’s in store for 2019?

Check out what went down at the Launch of the Year of Zero Waste 2019 – the highlights, notable quotes and vendors as well as a sneak peak into the private workshop with the cool and suave Arthur Huang as he made some big announcements.

 “Sustainable consumption is key.”

– Minister Masagos Zukifli

 

MEWR together with all the partners at the launch including UglyFood, Ground-Up Initiative, Tzu Chi, Zero Waste Singapore, Foodscape Collective, and more. 

 

With the conclusion of a successful 2018’s Year of Climate Action, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Masagos Zukifli, announced the launch of 2019 as the Year of Zero Waste. Mr. Zukifli highlighted the need to relook at the way Singapore uses her resources in order to achieve the goal of a zero-waste nation.

 

In this commitment to go Zero Waste, the theme of treasuring precious resources and taking a circular economy approach took center stage. There needs to be a paradigm shift in the way we look at resources, and he used an anecdote of a sardine can to explain this shift: Once we eat the canned sardines, we can still reuse the can or otherwise recycle it properly to ensure that the material can be reused.

 

Image may contain: food

Photo credit: UglyFood

 

What does the circular economy have in store for Singapore? Well, it can mean new economic opportunities and also the generation of new economic value from what we perceive to be “trash”. An example would be businesses such as Uglyfood, which turns trash (ugly fruits) into treasure (delicious fruit juices), and gives such “trash” a new lease of life. For us Asians, Mr. Zukifli firmly believes that “Not being wasteful is in our Asian culture”, chuckling as he recounts how parents tell children not to waste food or waste resources. #Relatable!

 

The circular economy was right in our faces as we sat at Our Tampines Hub (a mall with no air-conditioning but we were kept relatively cool by those Big Ass Fans – we’re not kidding, that’s the brand – and great ventilation.) Our Tampines Hub actually sends about 700kg of their food waste (equivalent to 3,500 bowls of rice) to their eco-digesters, the result of which is then distributed for use as fertilizers for the community gardens around Tampines, and also as water for washing. This means that instead of 4 trucks, they now only use 1 dumpster truck to transport waste to incinerators. Plus, a Zero Waste grant is being set-up to encourage ground-up initiatives, with the hope that more innovative ideas can show that products of the circular economy are both profitable and beautiful.

 

Arthur Huang, CEO of Miniwiz

 

Special guest Arthur Huang, CEO of Miniwiz, showed us how impressive and how incredibly sexy “waste” can be. In a private workshop after the launch, Arthur talked about how his company focuses on making waste materials look incredibly sexy to appeal to the not-yet-conscious consumers. Showing us the incredibly chic Nike studios, the EcoArk in Taipei and Anything Butts, you wouldn’t even know that these structures were built using items like recycled plastic, cigarette butts and more. These fully customizable eco-materials highlight the massive potential inherent within the circular economy. (Also, you NEED to check out their Trashpresso.) He also leaked that we’ll be seeing more of their cool stuff along Orchard Road real soon.

 

Tes-Amm’s robot made from recycled parts at their booth.

They do IT recycling and you can donate your e-waste in various places in Singapore!

 

The green movement is growing and getting bigger than ever in Singapore. With Earthfest coming up this weekend and many other initiatives like Books & Beer and Farmers’ Markets, we see people carrying that green torch higher than ever! It’s all about the #LittleGreenSteps we can take and that includes buying consciously, supporting local, reducing and refusing and also #RecyclingRight.

 

Speaking of Earthfest… do you know what you’ll be doing there this weekend yet? We’ll be there all day, so come say hi!

 

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An environmentalist, avid baker, and a dreamer with a goal to open the world of conscious living and responsible consumerism to Singaporeans and hopefully the rest of the world! She’s currently an undergraduate who’s hungry for an exciting adventure - or mostly just hungry. She hopes that by the time she graduates, she can help herself and her community leave green footsteps on this Earth we call home. 

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