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Beverage container return scheme launching in April 2025; canned, bottled drinks to cost $0.10 more

The $0.10 deposit will be refunded when the metal cans and plastic bottles are returned at designated points.

Han Xinyi

Still doesn’t understand how the kopi c, o, kosong system works.

Published: 22 March 2023, 5:29 PM

The price for pre-packaged beverages in plastic bottles and metal cans will include a 10-cent deposit from April 2025, under the National Environmental Agency’s (NEA) beverage container return scheme. 

The deposit, which is refundable, will apply to beverage packaging that are between 150 millilitres to 3 litres.

NEA said in a press release on Tuesday (Mar 21) that the scheme aims to “reduce the amount of (packaging) waste disposed and reduce carbon emissions”, while also encouraging Singaporeans to “cultivate recycling habits”.

Under the scheme, each pre-packaged beverage is to display a deposit mark and barcode, which helps shoppers identify beverages that carry deposits. They also serve as an anti-fraud measure that facilitates the return of containers so that consumers would have their deposit refunds secured.

All beverage and retail companies are to fully implement these measures onto their beverage containers by Jul 1, 2025.

Consumers are to return the empty containers to designated return points, which will likely be located in large supermarket outlets and spaces like void decks, shopping malls and hawker centres.

Plastic bottles and metal cans make up about 70 per cent of beverage packaging, and are easy to collect, compact and recycle. Packaging waste also comprises a third of Singapore’s disposed domestic waste, with 60 per cent of this number being plastic waste, according to NEA. 

When the scheme starts, the products will be labelled to indicate that they carry deposits. Between April 2025 and June 2025, a transitionary period will be in place to allow older unlabelled stocks to be cleared. 

The use of this scheme will help increase the supply and quality of recyclables collected, and further support the development of Singapore’s recycling industry.

The announcement of the scheme comes after NEA invited members of the public to share their views and suggestions on the scheme in September last year. 

The scheme was first recommended by the 2019 Citizens’ Workgroup on #RecycleRight. The Ministry of Sustainability and NEA conducted extensive engagements over the subsequent two years with members of the public and industry players to co-develop a scheme suitable for the Singapore context.

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