We know that Singapore is not exactly a country with bountiful resources, but we know that they are a country which makes the most of what they have (or don’t have), because out of necessity, a man-made island, Semakau, built out of ash and solid waste was created to serve as the land-scarce country’s landfill.
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However, the ingenious landfill is filling up at an alarming rate – ten years sooner than its projected maximum limit until 2045, as shared in a report by the Independent.
With Semakau Filling Up, Singapore has to Rethink its Plastic Usage Now
In line with this, the National Environment Agency (NEA) clarified that the government is no longer sticking with its original projection of Semakau’s limit at 2045, considering the alarming rate at how plastic is quickly filling up Singapore’s first and only landfill.
Despite this dire revelation, the government has not released a solid back-up plan to address the issue or if intends to replace Semakau in the near future.
With the expected population growth, higher waste generation will result. In line with this, the NEA maintains that “more has to be done to prolong the life of Semakau landfill beyond 2035.”
As of today, single-use plastic bags are used by households to contain waste. The excessive usage of disposables is a waste of resources and it contributes to the people’s carbon footprint as well as climate change – which in itself, is a major problem to be addressed according to the NEA.
While reusable bags are commonly viewed as the “greener” alternative, some establishments have replaced the use of plastic bags with paper bags. However, the NEA explained that while single-use, degradable paper bags have long been thought to be eco-friendly, these paper bags require large amounts of water to make, and cannot be used to bag wet items.
And while recycling plastic materials has always been advertised by the government, the best way to “go green” is by reducing the amount of plastic used as shared by environment experts at the World Wildlife Fund Singapore. This task, frankly, will heavily depend on how serious the citizens of Singapore are in contributing to this much-needed change.