Plastic Problem in Singapore: Addressing Plastic Pollution

Used plastic bottle left scattered around the beaches

Singapore is known as a beautiful garden city globally with a dense garden—one can see how our highways are dotted with trees and plants, announcing to all tourists visiting Singapore that she is known for her lush garden. One would think that to have such a beautiful garden on a large-scale island-wide, we would be one of the most environmentally friendly countries and most aware of plastic pollution and so on.

We pride ourselves as the only Garden City in the world, and our streets, beaches, and parks are clean. But we struggle to be environmentally friendly by using less single-use plastic or plastic-free. Sadly, nearly all hawker centers use plastic/single-use disposable cutlery, plates, and bowls. It is slapping ourselves in the face and being hypocritical about our efforts to be more aware of plastic pollution and be environmentally friendly. 

According to NEA, in 2021, plastic waste in Singapore was the largest waste disposed of, with 924,000 tonnes, and only 6% of the 982,200 tonnes of plastic waste generated was recycled.

Plastic waste collected in landfills


Another analysis of the NEA data by Reuters shows that plastic waste per capita has increased by nearly 20 percent over the last 15 years. At this rate we are heading, the plastic pollution rate might grow faster than the removal and we could be plagued with more problems, especially for a small country like ours. 

The recent death of a pilot whale in Thailand with 80 pieces of plastic trash in its stomach has drawn global attention to the repercussion of plastic pollution and how real and close to home it is.

 A Whale In Thailand Died From Ingesting Plastic


How Long Does Plastic Take To Decompose? 

If you're wondering how long plastic decomposes, the answer really depends on what kind of plastic you're talking about. Single-use grocery bags take about 20 to 500 years to decompose. That's not very long at all! But if you think about it, that's like a blink in geologic time. While PET water bottles take 450 years to break down—that's a much, much longer time period than single-use grocery bags.

Here are the estimated decomposition timelines for common plastic waste products:


estimated decomposition for plastic waste product


A 2018 study by the Singapore Environment Council revealed that 467 million of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles are used in Singapore every year, which can fill 94 Olympic-sized swimming pools. However, it's estimated that only 4 percent of them are recycled. According to World Economic Forum, 37.09% of respondents are most likely to recycle PET bottles, and 36.89% have indicated that they are most likely to reuse them. However, despite the high recycling rate, bottled drinking water remains an SGD134 million business, with most water packaged in PET plastic.

If you're looking to reduce your plastic waste, the best place to start is by avoiding single-use plastics. As a city known for its clean streets, with numerous green and sustainable development—we believe policies against plastic pollution, such as using single-use plastic bottles, disposable take-out plastic containers, and plastic bags can be implemented and change Singaporean's lifestyles. 

This is a small change to our lifestyle but a BIG CHANGE to maintaining the environment and giving POWER back to our beautiful planet! The fight against plastic pollution is REAL and is only the beginning; it's time for Singapore to make a change and start caring about the environment more. 

Join us as SodaStream does its part to save the world from plastic pollution. In fact, what if I told you that something as simple as sparkling your water at home could change the world? SodaStream is one of the best sparkling water makers in the market and they come equipped with their own reusable bottles.

SodaStream's carbonating bottles are durable and last for 3 years. This helps to eliminate up to thousands of single-use plastic bottles. Each bottle can be refilled to carbonate up to 1 Litre of sparkling water with SodaStream Sparkling Water Maker. Making your own sparkling water has never been easier—all it takes is one touch! SodaStream machines infuse carbon dioxide into your regular water, which makes it fizzy and delicious. Just add your flavor of choice and press the Sparkling Water Maker Button! You'll have sparkling water in seconds. Each time you refill your bottle, you're not only saving your wallet on purchasing new bottles but also reducing your environmental footprint by eliminating thousands of single-use plastic bottles. 

Make the change NOW and get your own reusable bottles here.



Armentrout, B. (2021, February 10). How long does it take for plastic to decompose? Chariot Energy.

Geddie, J. (2018, June 6). In singapore, where trash becomes ash, plastics are still a problem. U.S.; Reuters.

Josette. (2022, June 30). What can you do for plastic-free July 2022. The Sustainability Project.

National Environment Agency. (2021). Waste statistics and overall recycling.

OECD. (2022, February 22). Plastic pollution is growing relentlessly as waste management and recycling fall short, says OECD.

World Economic Forum. (2016). Industry agenda the new plastics economy rethinking the future of plastics.

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Sparkle Note

Using non-SodaStream cylinders is not a good idea. All our CO2 cylinders are quality tested when refilled. SodaStream gas cylinders should only be maintained and refilled by SodaStream. Unauthorized refilling of cylinders by third parties could be risky. SodaStream only warrants the safety of cylinders refilled by us, and SodaStream is not responsible for products of any other company or brand, which may damage the Sparkling Water Maker and void the warranty.