While he thinks a container return scheme with a deposit on packaging will help to improve recycling rates, people in Singapore may not be happy about it.
“As a whole, I think our country doesn’t really have a recycling culture yet, especially for the older folks,” he added.
“I think more importantly, the infrastructure, it has to be there. The biggest turn-off for my family is that every time I go to a machine it’s full. So we really have to have the right infrastructure, the right machines.”
F&N, which has 50 reverse vending machines across Singapore, did not reply to queries about whether recycling rates at the machines have increased since they were installed and how often the machines are cleared.
But it said it was encouraged by the results of the pilot in 2018.
“The initiative has shown Singaporeans that recycling is an easy habit to adopt which benefits both them and the environment,” said an F&N Foods spokesperson.
When the machines were first launched, there were long queues at many of the machines in heartland areas, although these quickly dissipated after the rewards for recycling were reduced.
Of the 50 F&N machines, 16 are in CapitaLand malls and properties, and the recyclables are collected daily, said a spokesperson for the developer.
“Should members of the public encounter a machine that is full or faulty, they may seek help by calling the hotline numbers on the machine,” the CapitaLand spokesperson added.
Currently, people who recycle at the machines run by F&N Foods can choose to redeem 10 CapitaStar STAR$, S$0.50 worth of ActiveSG credits, or a free 30-minute ride with a bike rental company anywheel for every 10 containers.
The CapitaStar STAR$ rewards can then be used to redeem eCapitaVouchers and eDeals for use at CapitaLand malls.