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NEA, Shell to explore feasibility of chemically recycling Singapore's plastic waste

THE National Environment Agency (NEA) and energy giant Shell are jointly studying the feasibility of chemically recycling plastic waste in Singapore.

In a joint press release issued on Friday, the duo said the study will look into different methods to recycle Singapore's plastic waste. These include waste segregation facilities and plastic pyrolysis plants which chemically process and convert plastic waste into higher-value products such as pyrolysis oil which can then be used as feedstock to manufacture plastics and chemicals.

This joint study will complement NEA's consultancy study on the feasibility of developing a pilot Plastic Recovery Facility (PRF) in Singapore, which will be awarded by the end of the year and run parallel to the feasibility study between NEA and Shell.

CEO of NEA Tan Meng Dui said this feasibility study is part of the agency's efforts to develop its local plastic recycling capabilities, improve plastic recycling rates and enhance the resilience of its overall waste management infrastructure.

Said Mr Tan: "The joint study with Shell will help NEA gain a better understanding of the technical and commercial aspects of a chemical recycling value chain in Singapore, and bring us one step closer to realising our goal of a circular economy for plastics."

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Plastics make up more than half of the packaging waste that have been disposed of in Singapore's domestic waste stream.

In light of this, both NEA and Shell said that chemical recycling will not only divert plastics from incineration, but help to reduce carbon emissions, close the plastic waste loop, and create new jobs and capabilities as part of a more circular approach towards resource management in the longer term.

Back in 2019, Shell had announced its ambition to use one million tonnes of plastic waste a year as feedstock in its global chemicals plants across Asia, Europe and North America by 2025.

"As part of Shell's energy transition ambition, we aspire to transform our business here to become more sustainable and circular. That is why we are committed to work with NEA and other partners in the ecosystem to develop a new circular supply chain to support both Singapore's and Shell's chemical recycling ambitions," said Aw Kah Peng, chairman of Shell Companies in Singapore.

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