Beverage Container Return Scheme to Start on April 1, 2025
Singapore/ Terra/ Sustainability

Beverage Packaging to Get Refundable Deposit in Container Return Scheme

Beverage Container Return Scheme Singapore

To tackle Singapore's packaging waste problem, the National Environment Agency (NEA) shared details about the "Beverage Container Return Scheme," which will see plastic bottles and metal cans of pre-packaged drinks to get a refundable deposit of 10 cents.

The scheme was recommended by the 2019 Citizens' Workgroup on #RecycleRight, as per a press release by the NEA yesterday. For two years, the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment and the agency directly engaged with the public and private sectors to collaborate in developing the scheme.

Under the scheme, importers and manufacturers of pre-packaged beverages will be required to participate. These plastic bottles and metal cans, ranging from 150-millilitres to three litres, must bear a deposit mark and barcode. These two features will help the public pick out which products are included in the scheme and eligible for refunds, and to deter fraud in the return process.

The scheme is slated to begin on April 1, 2025, the NEA said, compelling manufacturers to label their products that will carry the deposits. Big supermarkets will also be required to have a separate return point for consumers.

A period of transition for the beverage industry will be held between April 1-June 30, 2025, to finish or remove unlabelled stocks. The full implementation date is July 1, 2025.

"Return rate target of 60% and 70% will be set for the first and second year respectively as a transitionary period. At steady state, an estimated 800 million plastic bottles and metal cans will be returned for recycling annually," the NEA said. "This target is in line with similar Schemes implemented in over 50 jurisdictions globally, such as Norway, Germany, and Lithuania."

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