Each year, the paper and plastic packaging for mooncake treats we give are proving more and more difficult to recycle.
Every Mid-Autumn Festival mooncake boxes seem be more extravagant, but about 40% of the packaging is unnecessary and wasteful, said Mr Liow Chean Siang, head of environmental certifications at the Singapore Environment Council. He added – “Over the years, packaging for mooncakes has become so much more elaborate and fancy, resulting in more paper and plastic being used. Besides the presentation box itself, more plastic and paper are also used for the inner packaging to keep each mooncake in place to prevent spoilage, contamination and damage during transportation”.
However, some companies are aiming to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Cavaliere Giovanni Viterale, general manager of Fullerton Hotels and Resorts, said their mooncakes this year are packed in cardboard boxes which are “95% recyclable and 100% reusable”. “The team designed the boxes such that they can be repurposed and reused. Our premium boxes are designed to be reused as jewellery boxes”, he added that they are currently exploring a fully recyclable mooncake box for next year.
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More retailers and companies are becoming environmentally aware in Singapore, some are charging 5-15 cents per plastic bag and some are getting rid of shopping bags all together, but these are all aimed at the customer rather than the company making changes.
Many Singaporeans think it’s up to the production companies to stop using unnecessary packaging and not penalise the customer.