Plastic pollution is an imminent environment problem and, increasingly a health concern.

Many corporate and national leaders are paying attention to this issue and apparently so does our Prime Minister’s wife, Ho Ching, who also heads Temasek Holdings.

Poem on plastic issue

On Dec. 3, Ho shared an article about a plastic ban in all supermarkets in Bogor, a southern city of Indonesia.

While she did not make a clear stance on plastic ban, she wrote a poem in this post.

In 127 words, Ho summarises the global plastic problem and why Singaporeans should strive to reduce plastic waste.

The poem first identified Indonesia as one of the top few contributors to global ocean plastic pollution.

China, Vietnam, 
Indonesia and India 
are among the top 5 countries 
contributing to ocean plastics.

Ho also mentioned that the key plastic waste found in the oceans are abandoned fishing nets and fishing lines, also known as ghost gear.

In fact, close to half of the plastic waste is identified to be ghost gear and responsible clean up is difficult to enforce in countries like Indonesia.

about half of the ocean plastics are 
from fishing nets and fishing lines.

These ghost nets are lost or abandoned to drift like 
ghosts in the seas.

However, other plastic items found in the oceans are common items in Singaporeans’ lives, mainly packaging waste.

Fortunately, we have a proper system to prevent them escaping into the oceans.

The other big group of plastics 
are packaging plastics for 
wrapping and bottles.

SG incinerates most of its waste, 
including plastic bags and 
other plastic waste.

In S’pore, 40% of recyclables in blue bins end up not recycled after contamination by food & liquid waste

Singapore does not really contribute to the ocean plastic crisis but that does not mean we can use or dispose of plastic items mindlessly.

It takes energy to incinerate the solid waste into ashes and if we do not reduce the amount of trash we produce, our Semakau landfill will eventually be full by 2035.

SG plastics don’t add 
to ocean plastics.

But incineration in SG
has its own set of issues, 
both from energy efficiency 
and ash landfill limitations.

This is why we still have to reduce the amount of waste we throw and practise good recycling habits.

Best we can do 
for a better world 
is the simple motto to 
reduce, reuse and recycle.

How about it?

and whenever 
we can

Other poems

Ho appears to enjoy expressing her thoughts through writing poems.

Here’s another on HDB on the same day too.

I remember 
HDB once had a policy of 
not laying down all the pathways 
in a new housing estate.

Instead, HDB waited for the people 
to move in and create their own paths 
as they live and move about.

Only then 
did HDB convert these balding clay lanes into proper and practical pathways

I wonder if they still do the same.

In fact, there’s a short one for her current display picture.

Water and beer
at the beer garden
The beer waiter
must have been