Lendlease, in collaboration with WWF-Singapore, announced the launch of the “Circularity in Retail: Tackling the Waste Problem” report on August 5, as part of their commitment under PACT (Plastic ACTion). In line with Singapore’s zero-waste ambitions, the study serves as a guide for the retail sector to improve efforts towards a waste reduction and circular economy strategy recommendations.

Lack of data on waste and reduction target is the key barrier in improving waste reduction. The report also analysed waste data from three of Lendlease retail malls in Singapore between 2019 and 2020, and waste data collected by an automated waste data QR code system at Paya Lebar Quarter in 2020. The findings showed  their average recycling rate at almost 29%, 2.5 times more than Singapore’s average recycling rate of 11.4%.  It is driven by efficient waste segregation, waste data monitoring, and clear communication of waste management obligations to tenants.

Recommendations for malls include leveraging technology to improve waste management and segregation practices by digitising waste collection data to trace waste generated by retail category, to help set measurable targets. Installing food waste monitoring systems for food and beverage (F&B) tenants to digitally measure and monitor wastes going into the bins during food preparation can also help reduce food waste. The installation of bin level monitors would allow more time for housekeeping staff to support recycling efforts, and electric trolleys for door-to-door collection to make “recyclables less strenuous” and sink grinders to process food waste.

Mall operators should further encourage the participation of tenants and customers in waste management initiatives such as encouraging F&B establishment customers to bring their own reusable containers or bags by providing discounts or introducing a points system as a reward for shoppers, the report adds.