When referring to any of the results of our analysis and/or its concept and design, please cite us accordingly:
Global Plastics Policy Centre (2022) March A., Salam, S., Evans, T., Hilton, J., Fletcher, S. (editors). Global Plastics Policy Review. Revolution Plastics, University of Portsmouth.
Singapore Packaging AgreementView the policy document
Key FindingsView the policy document
The Singapore Packaging Agreement (SPA) launched in June 2007 was a voluntary joint initiative by government, industry and NGOs, which aimed to reduce packaging waste. The goal was to provide a platform and structure for industries to collaborate with the NEA to reduce packaging waste over a 5-year period and provide flexibility for the industry to adopt cost-effective solutions to reduce waste. The primary driver for this policy was political, during a review of the Singapore Green Plan in 2005, it was suggested that Singapore should adopt the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) to reduce waste, including waste from packaging. However, the stakeholders agreed to the implementation of a voluntary programme instead of an EPR policy to avoid increasing costs, which would eventually be passed on to the consumer, and limiting the flexibility of the industry for innovation (Peck and Tay, 2010). A Governing Board of 13 members comprising representatives from industry associations and companies, NGOs and the Government. was in charge of the implementation of the Agreement (Peck and Tay, 2010). There was moderate evidence available to complete the evaluation framework at the time of the assessment.
One of the objectives, which was to recruit 400 signatories by 2020 with 2007 as a base year, was not achieved, as at 30 June 2020 the NEA listed 246 signatories. But, the total annual reduction target of 10,000 tonnes of packaging waste in 2020, with 2007 as the base year, was achieved (NEA, 2017; NEA, n.d). Other potential objectives would have been met as well, because a second Packaging Agreement was implemented (from 1 July 2012 until 30 June 2020) to build on the momentum gained in the first Packaging Agreement (which was valid from 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2012) to keep encouraging the industry to reduce packaging waste (NEA, 2017; NEA, n.d). There is evidence to support it as well, figures show that about 200 SPA members have cumulatively reduced about 54,000 tonnes of packaging waste, resulting in estimated packaging material cost savings of $130 million for locally consumed products in 2019. (Towards Zero Waste, n.d.). This policy has had some positive effect on reducing plastic pollution, but if it were enough the government would not have resorted back to legally-binding policies. The government introduced the Mandatory Packaging Reporting scheme under the Resource sustainability Act in 2019. lessons from this policy show that financial incentives are critical where companies are involved, support should be given to companies to help them adjust and policies should always involve the 3P (Public, Private and People). The policy could have been more effective, if companies had been provided with financial incentives to further reduce their packaging waste, given financial responsibilities in terms of reducing packaging waste, and if responsibility had been given to consumers, the public has no reason or motivation to change their behaviour to reduce packaging waste, but their own (Subramaniam, 2017). In addition, quantitative and qualitative targets should always be provided to help producers and consumers develop an appropriate plan to adjust (Subramaniam, 2017).
(Reviewed in November 2022)
Through an analytical framework, we've reviewed over 100 plastic policies. These reviews determine the effectiveness of policies in reducing plastic pollution and we offer recommendations in light of this evidence, to enhance future policy making. You can find out more about our methods on our methods page.Methods