To facilitate and improve household recycling in Singapore, the country’s National Environment Agency (NEA) and IKEA Singapore have jointly launched a new recycling initiative. In August, about 18,000 residents of Built-to-Order (BTO) flats in new Housing and Development Board (HDB) precincts will receive vouchers that can be used on Aug. 24 to redeem a free recycling bin sponsored by IKEA Singapore.
The initiative aims to inspire more households to recycle right and recycle regularly by making it easier for them to recycle, NEA and IKEA Singapore report in a news release announcing the initiative. The recycling bin allows households to accumulate their recyclables at home, and it also serves as a visual reminder to encourage regular and correct recycling habits.
According to a news release from NEA and IKEA Singapore, household recycling surveys conducted in 2018 by the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) and NEA found that about 60 percent of Singapore households recycled regularly. Convenience was indicated as an important factor for recycling. Respondents also revealed that the most common reason for not recycling was that they had too few items to recycle. Additionally, the surveys found that habits play a major role in the recycling behavior of households. New habits and routines are more likely to be cultivated when there is a change in one’s life circumstances or environment, such as when moving into a new home.
NEA also conducted six focus group discussions from February to March 2019 with members of the public to find out their preferences for the type of recycling receptacles and adhesive look that would best facilitate regular recycling at home. Out of the prototypes tested, the cardboard box was the most preferred option. Also, respondents preferred a recycling receptacle that was durable, washable, functional and neutral in color.
IKEA Singapore’s recycling bin takes into account this feedback. The bin provided by IKEA Singapore is also made from 60 percent recycled plastic with a design that easily fits into any home. Each recycling bin has a prominent blue recycling label, which comes with recycling tips like ensuring that recyclables are free from food and liquid waste. NEA will also be giving out fridge magnets during the recycling bin redemption period, to guide households on what can or cannot be recycled.
In the next few months, eligible residents of BTO flats in new HDB precincts will receive their voucher by mail. Each voucher can be used to redeem a free recycling bin at either IKEA Tampines or IKEA Alexandra.
“We are happy to work with IKEA Singapore to encourage households to make recycling a daily household routine,” says Tan Meng Dui, CEO of NEA. “For the HDB households which will benefit from this new initiative, the in-home recycling bin makes recycling things more convenient than disposing them as garbage. This is happening for the first time in an HDB living environment. The recycling bin also brings the ‘recycling right’ message right into the homes of these residents. NEA will continue to work with partners and stakeholders not just to encourage the public to recycle more, but also raise awareness on how to recycle right. Together, we can build a sustainable Singapore.”
Soh Bee Lian, head of sustainability at IKEA Southeast Asia, adds that IKEA sees this opportunity as a responsibility to use the company’s reach and knowledge about life and home to offer practical solutions to integrate sustainability into people’s homes. “Through this partnership with NEA, we hope to help homeowners in Singapore make recycling a part of their everyday life.”