Advanced communications technology is forming the base of new and promising initiatives to tackle fast growing volumes of electronic scrap across south-east Asia.
As previously reported by Recycling International, Singapore’s National Environment Agency has contracted Alba Group to roll out an extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme for the city state. The scheme will be launched this July and run until the summer of 2026 in a bid to tackle the estimated 60 000 tonnes of post-consumer electronics waste generated across Singapore every year. A deposit refund system for packaging has also been unveiled.
The collection infrastructure consists of containers, temporary collection points at weekends, take-back system at retailers and a fee-based collection service. Alba is already operating similar EPR schemes in Germany and Hong Kong.
In Singapore, Alba is being lent a helping hand by green tech start-up Octopus. This Indonesian company has developed a waste management app to create ‘an economically viable and mutually beneficial recycling mechanism’ to address pain points faced by the key stakeholders involved in the recycling process: brand consumers, producers and waste collection businesses.Householders with unwanted appliances can have them picked up from their doorsteps to earn incentives such as points and cash rebates at the click of a button via the Octopus app.
Track and trace
Octopus also provides a real-time data dashboard for brands and fast-moving consumer goods producers to track exactly where their scrap is going. They work with waste collectors and collection centres among others to gather data on waste products and record ‘the digital journey of the entire product lifecycle’.
The digital tool has already proved to be a success, claims Octopus founder and ceo Andi Moehammad Ichsan. ‘In six months since its launch in Indonesia, Octopus app users have helped to recycle more than 8.9 million pieces of plastics,’ he says.