What is BYOC?
While Singapore has a well-established waste management system, there is actually area for improvement with considerable usage of plastic bags. There are two main factors: reusable bags are still not commonly used and it is deemed a necessity for proper waste disposal. This contributes to the low plastic recycling rate, which is just a paltry 11%. In response, the Singapore Environment Council (SEC), a leading Singapore environment NGO, published a report to study how can Singapore mitigate the issue of the usage of excessive plastic bags.
Likewise, there are considerable use of disposable like plastic bags and takeaway containers amongst Singapore’s Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs). Hence, Earthlink NTU (Nanyang Technological University), National University of Singapore (NUS) Students Against Violation of the Earth (SAVE), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) Greenprint and SP (Singapore Polytechnic) ENV decided to start a joint initiative to address this.
Building on the existing schemes being implemented by NUS SAVE (Plastic Bag Tax, Project Box and Project Tumbler), this project aims to push for the reduction of disposable by encouraging the use of reusable containers.
Ground Situation: What's the issue?
Activities: What are we doing??
Conduct education and awareness campaign on the implication of plastic waste and disposables
Make reusable containers a viable and attractive alternative by making its accessibility and convenience comparable to disposable through reusable containers vending machine and possibly expansion of NUS SAVE’s schemes
Resting on the momentum of growing usage of reusable containers, rally support for a ban on disposables by working together with the relevant stakeholders like vendors (e.g. canteen, bookshop), school administration and environment NGOs like SEC
In recognition of the different contexts across the IHLs, BYOC will use a decentralized school-based approach to allow participating IHls ample scope to tailor their specific approach. Notwithstanding this, the participating IHLs will meet regularly to keep track of progress and share the best practices, to maximize the synergy of this initiative.
The school community of all the participating IHLs
Long-term – Residents under the Southwest Community Development Council (SWCDC)
What BYOC wants: Goals
Reduce the amount of disposable used by the participating IHLs by 10% in a year through campaign encouraging the usage of reusable containers (e.g. tumbler, lunchbox) and community engagement within a year
Build a platform to facilitate further collaborations between IHLs’ environment clubs