Expert calls for more public education on recycling boxes

Only 20% of the 1.39 million households have claimed their Bloobox, even though the deadline is on 30 April.

A lot of people did not claim the boxes since they thought they would not boost their recycling efforts. Meanwhile, others said they already had their own recycling corners in their homes.

“I don’t think the box will add value for people who are already recycling,” said Consultant Lim Kian Chong.

“There is no carrot or stick to influence habits. We could learn from the beverage return scheme that has popped up in supermarkets of late, or the food court and hawker centre tray return initiative,” said Social media influencer Kimberly Tham.

Bloobox was launched by NEA on 19 March. The box is foldable and washable, and it is poised to boost recycling in homes.

The recycling box can hold 5kg of plastic, metal, glass, and paper recyclables, as well as electronic waste.

The box comes with instructions to help users identify what can and cannot be recycled. For instance, styrofoam and food-stained items, as well as liquids and foods, should not be placed in them.

Bloobox also comes with a removable divider to make compartments for e-waste like batteries.

The recyclables can be dropped off in recycling shoots or bins, which can be found in most new Housing Board blocks.

NEA recently added schools to the distribution locations to boost the collection rate. Residents can visit to check the locations of vending machines and stock levels.

Despite the pessimism of some people, there are still individuals who are excited to use the Bloobox. For instance, cake shop owner Jeanne Liu wants to use it to educate her helpers.

“A lot of the time, it’s either the helpers or the elderly who do not know what can or cannot be recycled,” she said.

According to experts, the low collection rate proves people’s lack of readiness for recycling. To solve this, more education should be given to the public.

“There are still many people who do not bother to recycle, much less recycle right,” stated Singapore University of Technology and Design senior lecturer Lee Chee Huei, adding that it may even add to the waste if it’s not used properly.

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