In collaboration with UOB, SingPost, and Better Packaging, the pilot is the first of its kind in Asia
SINGAPORE, 5 April 2022 —WWF-Singapore (World Wide Fund for Nature Singapore) today announces a pilot initiative designed to reduce e-commerce packaging waste in Singapore. Spearheaded by WWF-Singapore’s Plastic ACTion (PACT), in partnership with UOB, SingPost, and Better Packaging, the pilot initiative aims to promote the concept of reusable e-commerce packaging in Singapore to promote a circular economy approach.
The PACT e-commerce packaging pilot initiative will see retailers such as Cloversoft, Davines, Herbal Pharm, Outfyt, Retykle, Rusby & Co., Thryft, Unpackt, Vintage Sports, and WWF-Singapore1 merchandising coming together to explore how a circular sustainable packaging system can become a reality. It will showcase how Singapore’s developed postal network can be utilised to support a robust reverse logistics supply chain to promote a circular economy.
TAKING PART IN THE PILOT
Until September 2022, Singaporeans can participate by opting-in for reusable e-commerce packages from any of the participating retailers. They can return it directly to the courier, to the physical stores or one of SingPost’s mailing boxes. By doing so, they will promote the concept of reusable e-commerce packaging in Singapore and prove that a circular economy approach is possible.
Learnings from the pilot – opt-in rates, return rates and time taken to return the packaging – will also help build knowledge about consumer behaviour, which is vital for subsequent scaling of the successful pilot, industry-wide.
Ms Neo Su Yin, CEO Singapore, SingPost said: “As Singapore’s key last mile delivery service provider, we are acutely aware of the amount of packaging that comes with every item we deliver. PACT sits squarely in our goal to drive a sustainable future for our planet, so we are pleased to support this pilot initiative by providing a free return service for the reusable packaging. We encourage everyone to play a part and actively drop off the reusable packaging they receive at posting box islandwide.”
The pilot initiative addresses the growing concern of Singaporeans towards e-commerce packaging waste. Four out of five Singaporean consumers (80%) said they care about the environment, and about a third (32%) of consumers added that they would make most purchasing decisions based on product sustainability and environmental impact.
- Each day, a total of 200,000 e-commerce parcels from various platforms are delivered across Singapore, and this number is projected to grow by approximately 50% by 2025.
- Out of the 1.56 million tonnes of household waste generated in Singapore in 2018, approximately one-third was packaging.
PERSONAL NET ZERO COMMITMENT
This pilot initiative builds upon another important initiative WWF-Singapore launched last year to enable individuals to help Singapore become a low carbon, climate-resilient nation.
Called the Kosong Plan, it encourages individuals to make a difference by pledging to lead a more sustainable lifestyle by taking simple everyday actions to achieve their personal Net Zero goals. These actions include eating consciously, shopping responsibly, commuting sustainably, choosing renewable energy, and restoring nature.
This pilot initiative will provide additional climate action opportunities for those individuals who support WWF-Singapore’s Kosong Plan.
“Research shows that Singapore consumers desire greener and less packaging in e-commerce. Through this pilot initiative, we hope to demonstrate to retailers how they can promote a circular economy approach. Our initiatives such as this pilot and the Kosong Plan seek to encourage consumers to take positive actions for the environment. A low carbon and climate-resilient Singapore can be built everyday, by each one of us playing our part,” said WWF-Singapore’s CEO, Mr R. Raghunathan.
The data captured from the pilot will enable logistic providers and retailers to better understand consumer behaviour and provide them with alternative choices when they make purchases online. Retailers play a pivotal role in making e-commerce packaging more environmentally sustainable. By demonstrating that the benefits of reusable e-commerce packaging are far-reaching and address an unmet demand for sustainable options from consumers, the pilot initiative is designed to encourage more retailers to introduce circular economy options to their customers.
“According to our UOB SME Outlook Study 2022, three in five small and medium-sized enterprises believe in the importance of adopting sustainable practices. Among the top motivators are an improved brand reputation that will appeal to their customers and the contribution to a greener Singapore. This reflects the growing awareness and adoption of climate-conscious decisions by businesses and consumers alike. This pilot initiative is a step in the right direction to encourage more companies, especially retailers and e-commerce players, to contribute to a circular economy and to forge a sustainable future.” said Mr Eric Lim, Chief Sustainability Officer, UOB.
Ultimately, stakeholder collaboration will be crucial in implementing reusable e-commerce packaging systems in Singapore. Retailers, logistics providers and government institutions must work together, test various reusable e-commerce packaging models and use the learnings to create industry-wide standards and scalable processes. Similarly, the collaboration of consumers, firstly by opting in for reusable packaging and secondly, by returning it in a timely manner, is crucial to the success of this pilot initiative.
1Davines, Herbal Pharm, Vintage Sports and WWF Merchandising will join the pilot by the end of April.
2The survey was conducted from late December 2021 to early January 2022 among 800 local SMEs with revenue less than S$100 million to understand the business outlook and key expectations among SMEs in Singapore.
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World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. As one of WWF’s international hubs, WWF-Singapore supports a global network spanning over 100 countries. WWF-Singapore works closely with local stakeholders towards a greener and more sustainable Singapore and the region around us. We work to address key conservation areas, such as climate change, sustainable finance, deforestation, illegal wildlife trade, marine conservation, and sustainable production and consumption, through collaboration, education and outreach efforts involving the community, businesses, and governments. For more information, please visit wwf.sg.
Started by WWF-Singapore and based on WWF’s No Plastic in Nature Initiative, Plastic ACTion (PACT) is a business initiative that aims to reduce waste and move towards a circular economy. The programme empowers companies to adapt their business models and processes to be more resource-efficient. By providing businesses with guidance and best practices, PACT enables them to make science-based decisions for responsible production and consumption. This will lower their environmental footprint, and address the growing consumer demand for sustainability.