Singapore Is Only Recycling a Tiny Fraction of Its Plastic Waste
A mechanical claw is seen in front of bales of compressed shredded paper at a recycling facility in Singapore. (Photographer: Ore Huiying/Bloomberg)

Singapore Is Only Recycling a Tiny Fraction of Its Plastic Waste

(Bloomberg) -- Singapore only recycled about 4% of its plastic waste last year, according to data published by the National Environment Agency.

The city-state generated a total of 949,300 tons of plastic waste, of which 40,700 tons, or 4.3 percent, was recycled, according to an NEA report published on its website. That’s down from 6% in 2017, and less than half the recycling rate from five years ago, according to government figures.

Singapore’s low recycling figures come as Southeast Asia grapples with a plastic waste crisis. Western countries no longer able to ship their plastic waste to China following a 2017 ban have since turned to the region to dump millions of tons of their trash.

Of the total figure, local exporters sent 37,851 tons of plastic abroad while only 2,849 tons were processed in Singapore. Other categories of waste where less than 20% was recycled in Singapore include glass, textiles and food.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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