In 垃圾 Waste, 废物利用 Reuse, 新加坡 Singapore, 新能源 New Energy, 气候变化 Climate Change, 海平面 Sea Level, 碳排放 Emission

After Newater, look out for Newoil, Newsand

滴油不产的新加坡,接下来要开始“产油”?

是的,政府正在研究以化学方式,将回收塑料转换为高价值产品如热解油(pyrolysis oil)。环境及水源部兼卫生部高级政务部长许连碹博士昨天向国会提到这项进展时,可能有些议员已经猜到当局会怎么给这项技术起名——继新生水、新生沙之后,接下来还会有“新生油”(NEWOil)。

现在说来还有点后知后觉:污水能转化为可饮用的新生水,垃圾焚烧后剩余底灰能制成修筑公路使用的新生沙,塑料垃圾当然也可以“重获新生”。

热解油可作为原料,供应给本地石化业。许连碹也说,“新生油”将加强本地资源韧性,也让我国更加接近零废弃国家和低碳经济的目标。

当局正与新加坡经济发展局和业界伙伴探讨设立试验设施,在接下来数年协助奠定新加坡的化学回收产业链。

环保和废物利用不只局限于像“新生油”这样的大工程。许连碹昨天延续去年的做法,穿上由录音卡带升级改造成的再循环服装,配上同款手提包,展现本地环保设计师的创意。

也有议员选择以更务实的做法提倡环保。关注环境课题的黄国光(义顺集选区)说,他昨天穿的衬衫已经用了五年,这么做是“迈向零废弃的最好方法”。

以上的例子都说明了:一、即便是最难分解的塑料也有回收和改造升级的可能,因此没有什么是不能“新生”的;二、是宝物还是废物只有一线之差,只要有适当的技术就能点石成金;三、很多时候物品的价值取决于使用者怎么看待,相信废弃物有非一般的价值,它才有可能重获新生。

环境及水源部长马善高在参与国会拨款委员会对该部门开支预算的辩论时指出,新加坡在建国道路上不断克服挑战,面对最艰难的挑战,我国也会拿出创意解决方案,让新加坡保持独特的位置,“这就是我们的新加坡基因”。

教育方面与时俱进、推陈出新的努力也没有松懈。昨天最让人眼前一亮的宣布,是到了2024年,让所有中一学生各有一台笔记型或平板电脑,用来登录“学生学习平台”,提高学习成效。

科技向来被视为双刃剑,过去谈到把科技引进教室时也不时引起学生会不会分心等担忧。但教育部长王乙康昨天除了解释校方可通过管理应用程序,限制学生接触到的内容,并例举学生学习平台的教学成效,还宣布填补中小学生教育储蓄户头及为低收入家庭学生提供额外津贴等措施,足见教育部促进教学质量和成果的决心。

除了硬件,王乙康也在近一小时的发言中,花了10分钟以上的时间专谈更新品格与公民教育,及建立学生的网络健康意识。这反映了因应新时代的挑战和改变,教育不能只是“把隔夜菜加温后端上桌”,而必须注入新元素。

就在拨款委员会通过教育部开支预算后,王乙康起身步出议事厅。全程在旁仔细聆听辩论并不时点头的国务资政兼社会政策统筹部长尚达曼在王乙康经过他的座位时,与王乙康相视一笑,似是这名前教长对现任教长的鼓励和肯定。

无论是推动零废弃、打造绿意盎然的家园,或是悉心灌溉育人之树,新加坡就是通过求新求变,不断取得增值。也正是这样的精神,才能保这片生机勃勃的园地万年长青。


Moving on from Newater, Singapore has big plans for Newsand – a promising new construction material culled from incineration waste.

More ambitiously, it wants to create Newoil – using discarded plastic to replace fossil fuels.

The country is looking at developing its chemical recycling industry and establishing a pilot plant for this, said Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor yesterday.

“If successful, this will move us closer to both our goals of being a zero-waste nation and a low-carbon economy,” she said.

In 2018, the country generated about 949,300 tonnes of such trash. Only 4 per cent was recycled.

Singapore now plans to invest in new recycling technology, a move that could create opportunities and jobs for Singaporeans.

Dr Khor, who was in a houndstooth blouse with a matching bag made from discarded cassette tapes during the debate on her ministry’s budget, outlined schemes to turn waste into useful products.

“That’s really turning trash into treasure,” she said.

By 2022, the National Environment Agency (NEA) will also implement a deposit refund scheme for beverage containers, such as PET bottles. Under the scheme, consumers get a refund when they return used beverage containers to producers via designated return points.

From July this year, producers of packaged products, as well as retailers such as supermarkets, will be required to record the amount of packaging that they put into the market alongside their products each year, and must submit their first report next year. The firms will also need to develop plans to reduce, reuse and recycle packaging.

The new measures come as Singapore strives to lengthen the lifespan of its only landfill, Semakau, which could be full by 2035.

Later this year, the NEA will test potential Newsand materials – made from incinerated bottom ash and slag – in road construction in Tanah Merah Coast Road.

If successful, Newsand will go some way towards stopping incineration waste from filling up the landfill, while producing a useful construction material.

Meanwhile, come 2024, premises that generate large amounts of food waste will be required by law to segregate the waste for treatment.

Shopping malls with a food and beverage area of more than 3,000 sq m, as well as hotels with F&B and function areas of more than 3,000 sq m, will be affected by the new law.


Source: Zaobao / The Straits Times

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