Advisory to NEA on its Beverage Container Take-back Scheme

The National Environment Agency (“NEA”) consulted CCCS on its plans to implement a new beverage container take-back scheme in Singapore. The legislative framework for the scheme will be introduced by 2022 as part of the first phase of the Extended Producer Responsibility approach to manage packaging waste. Under this scheme, consumers will pay a deposit when they purchase beverages, and this deposit will be refunded when the empty beverage container is returned at specified points. CCCS considered the competition impact of NEA’s plans and provided recommendations on how NEA can mitigate potential competition concerns. Examples include advising NEA to regularly review the parameters of the scheme framework to ensure that it does not unnecessarily restrict competition, and to consider putting in place safeguards to prevent the exchange of commercially sensitive information between industry players. Additionally, CCCS recommended that NEA regularly review target(s) set (e.g. recycling) and compliance costs to adapt to changing market conditions, and to ensure that the regulations remain relevant to the industry.