Should Singapore do more to reduce plastic waste?
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Should Singapore allocate
more land for food production?
Singapore has often been touted as a ‘garden city’ lush with its green spaces, establishing it as a model sustainable city. Yet, despite this image, Singapore is a massive polluter, especially on a per capita basis. Thus, it faces a critical decision: should it intensify efforts to curb plastic waste? Advocates argue that Singapore should lead the charge in sustainable practices. They propose implementing comprehensive policies, from plastic bag bans to incentivising eco-friendly packaging. An example of this is the disposable carrier bag charge implemented in 2023. Proponents emphasise the potential positive impact on land usage, marine ecosystems, public health, and the nation's international standing as an environmentally responsible player. However, sceptics raise concerns about the economic implications and potential resistance from industries reliant on plastic. Striking a balance between environmental responsibility and economic stability is thus the crux of the debate. Representatives will have the opportunity to discuss the impacts of doing more to reduce plastic waste, whether the pros outweigh the cons, and hence its overall necessity.
Singapore faces a perennial challenge – the capability of its agri-food industry in providing for its people. A small city state with limited resources, vulnerable to climate change and geopolitical developments, Singapore has faced increased pressure in recent years to ensure the sustainability and resiliency of its agri-food industry. In its bid to meet this challenge, Singapore currently pursues the 3 Baskets policy – 1) diversifying import sources, 2) growing local and 3) overseas. Given that only 1% of Singapore's land is allocated for local food production, some advocates propose that more land should thus be reallocated for this purpose. Yet, others are concerned that conflicting national priorities and competing land needs make this proposal unviable and unsustainable. Striking a balance between the myriad of considerations hence becomes the focal point of the debate. Representatives will have the opportunity to define what constitutes a resilient food future, evaluate the different measures and ultimately, whether Singapore should allocate more land for food production.