Closed Loop Partners to Support Resource Recycling Systems’ NextCycle Initiative

As with any successful trade conference or trade show, organizers of the CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (CESG) later this month are looking to bring together stakeholders from all targeted industry sectors.

Dalson Chung, CEO of CESG, in an exclusive interview with Brian Taylor of Waste todayargues that the strength of such gatherings, in a recycling context, lies in part in their ability to “come together to identify and accelerate the action needed to achieve a circular economy.”

Waste Today (WT): How can an event like CESG help support circular economy efforts in Singapore and the ASEAN region?

Dalson Chung (DC): A global platform like CESG is a great opportunity for thought leaders, senior officials, regulators, policy makers and captains of industry to explore and develop innovative solutions that will help build cities. sustainable and resilient to climate change.

These solutions would not have been possible for a single stakeholder to implement on their own, further underscoring the importance of industry and stakeholders coming together to identify and accelerate the actions needed to achieve a cost saving. circular.

From city governments to technology providers to end-user associations, CESG will facilitate the cross-sharing of knowledge among the brightest minds in the environmental and sustainability industry.

The CESG also attaches great importance to stimulating innovation, as evidenced by the presence of a NEA innovation pavilion, dedicated to the presentation of new technologies, innovations, products and services in the field of the environment. . One of them is SCARCE, an e-waste recycling project at Nanyang Technological University that can directly contribute to circular economy efforts in Singapore.

WT: What is your assessment of the current venture capital and funding climate in Singapore for entrepreneurs with a circular economy idea?

CC : The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a dire warning for the world to act on climate change, and Singapore is no different. However, the environment must be conducive to action. This means having the right policies and regulations, and the right circumstances for capital to flow to the available solutions.

As businesses focus on sustainability and the circular economy, Singapore is poised to become a global hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.

In the recent budget speech announced by the Government of Singapore, it was highlighted that green finance is one of the fastest growing segments and will issue $35 billion in green bonds by 2030 to finance projects in public sector green infrastructure.

To that end, we anticipate that many new and exciting solutions and technologies will be funded in Singapore. Thus, we have ensured that innovation and technologies will play a central role in the next CESG.

There will be an innovation showcase and pitch at the NEA Innovation Pavilion at CESG. Innovative ideas around e-waste management, sewage monitoring for COVID-19, cleaning robotics and other innovations related to environmental services will be presented at the pavilion in which companies can invest.

WT: In what ways is the Singapore government funding or supporting increased landfill diversion? Has this level of support increased in recent years?

DS: Efficient waste management has always been a big issue for land-scarce Singapore. We have made a lot of efforts in the public, private and private sectors to ensure that Singapore becomes a zero waste nation.

Last year, the Singapore Green Plan 2030 was launched to catalyze a national sustainability movement to move towards a greener future. This included the goal of reducing the waste sent to the Semakau landfill by 20% by 2026 as an interim target before reaching the final target of a 30% reduction by 2030.

This year, we announced the $80 million Closing the Resource Loop (CTRL) funding initiative to support research and development into sustainable resource recovery solutions for major waste streams and research into useful and safe applications for treated waste residues. This is in addition to the $25 million awarded for the Waste-to-Energy program and $45 million under the Closing the Waste Loop funding initiative in previous years. Through CTRL, we aim to increase resource recovery and achieve a sustainable, resource-efficient and climate-resilient Singapore.

A key upstream measure to encourage sustainable production is the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme. EPR requires producers, such as manufacturers and importers, to be responsible for the collection and proper treatment of their end-of-life products.

Since July of last year, we have implemented a REP scheme for e-wasteone of Singapore’s priority waste streams, which reduces our waste to landfill and ensures that valuable e-waste resources are recovered and used in the manufacture of new products.

Efforts are also underway to develop an EPR for packaging waste, another of Singapore’s priority waste streams. We will begin with a return program for beverage containers and have consulted with industry and the public on the framework for this program.

We are also pursuing plastics chemical recycling which converts waste plastics into pyrolysis oil, which can be used as a raw material for the manufacture of chemicals and plastics.

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