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Be a zero-waste hero: the return of EcoBank

  • The second edition of EcoBank, launched by CDL and Eco-Business in 2016, calls on Singaporeans to become heroes in the fight for a zero-waste society and raise funds to support disadvantaged children in Singapore

Performers supported by CCA presented tokens of appreciation to CDL CEO Mr Grant Kelley (second row, fourth from left), Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Mr Masagos Zulkifli (second row, sixth from left), and Eco-Business Research Director Mr Tim Hill (second row, eighth from left).

Singapore, 24 February 2017 – To encourage conscious consumption and to raise awareness of waste generation, national zero-waste initiative EcoBank is back with its marketplace of preloved items and new elements – such as a social media competition and a silent auction – to benefit disadvantaged children in Singapore.

This year’s EcoBank Bazaar, where carefully curated preloved items will be sold to the public to raise funds for The Children’s Charities Association of Singapore (CCA), caps off two months of awareness raising around the issue of sustainable consumption and waste reduction during the Christmas and Lunar New Year festive period in Singapore.

The Bazaar kicks off today at City Square Mall with an opening ceremony at 3.30pm that will be attended by the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Masagos Zulkifli and feature a performance by youths supported by CCA.

It marks the start of the three-day EcoBank Bazaar, which runs from 10am to 8pm every day until Sunday February 26 at City Square Mall.

The Bazaar was preceded by various activities under the EcoBank initiative to raise awareness of the issue of waste generation in Singapore.

From January 5-26, EcoBank collection points were set up at seven CDL-owned buildings across Singapore to coincide with the period of spring cleaning ahead of the Lunar New Year. The public was invited to donate their preloved, great condition clothes, toys, books and accessories.

Over 1,150 volunteer hours were spent sorting and curating the collection of about 10.8 tonnes or 10,800kg of goods. In addition, more than 650 volunteer hours will be required to manage the three day Bazaar.

EcoBank mobilised the efforts of over 210 volunteers drawn from organising companies City Developments Limited (CDL) and Eco-Business, and the National Environment Agency network. Students from Nanyang Technological University and Republic Polytechnic, as well as participants in the CDL-GCNS Young CSR Leaders Award were a crucial part of the manpower behind the event.

In addition to the EcoBank Collection Drive and Bazaar, EcoBank 2017 introduced a social media contest in which Singapore residents were encouraged to show how they reuse and recycle everyday items through posts on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter tagged #EcoBank and #ZeroWasteHero2017. Prizes were sponsored by CDL and included a hotel stay and shopping vouchers.

Also for the first time, EcoBank organised a Silent Auction involving over 20 premium items such as a one-night stay at W Singapore – Sentosa Cove, preloved designer dresses and a wine-pairing dinner at the Tower Club. All items were donated and proceeds will go to charity.

CDL and Eco-Business will this year track the amount of carbon emissions that have been saved as a result of EcoBank with the help of partner Turnkey Solutions. By rescuing clothes, toys, books and fashion accessories from the incinerator, it prevents the release of carbon dioxide, a key greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change. Unsold items will go to CCA and the MINDS Thrift Shop to benefit their fund-raising efforts.

Ms Jessica Cheam, Managing Editor of Eco-Business, said it was encouraging that the response to EcoBank’s collection drive was stronger this year than in 2016. “This shows that EcoBank has been effective in getting Singapore residents to re-think how we buy, consume and dispose of our items.”

“We believe this initiative pushes the important message of sustainability and waste prevention. Although Singapore has a long way to go before we achieve our goals of becoming a zero-waste nation, we hope that through EcoBank, consumers begin to think more conscientiously about their purchasing decisions, and also what happens to their trash when they’re done with it.”

Mr Grant Kelley, CEO of CDL, stated that EcoBank was an example of one of the many 3P initiatives championed by CDL to raise awareness and encourage green practices amongst stakeholders, youths and the community at large.

“Apart from building green infrastructure, CDL has a long-standing commitment to integrate sustainability into our business, and support youth development and capacity-building initiatives.”

“We would like to thank donors from all walks of life, including our tenants, shoppers and business associates who donated some 10.8 tonnes of preloved items at seven of our commercial properties.

This is a significant 76% increase from last year.”

Mr Daniel Tan Tai Leng, Chairman of The Children's Charities Association of Singapore, said: “Our children are the future beneficiaries of our sustainable behaviour today. It is CCA’s honour to be the beneficiary of EcoBank, Singapore's national zero-waste campaign, and to be associated with leading sustainability institutions like CDL, Eco-Business and even Michelle Yeoh.”

EcoBank is an independent initiative by CDL and Eco-Business that aligns with Singapore’s vision of becoming a zero-waste nation by 2030 under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015. Launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in 2014, the Blueprint outlines a S$1.5 billion effort for Singapore to become a smart, eco-friendly city with a zero-waste culture. National Environment Agency statistics show that Singapore generated a total of 7.67 million tonnes of solid waste in 2015, a whopping 159,000 tonnes more than the previous year.

EcoBank complements Singapore’s sustainable development strategy to reduce energy use, increase recycling rates and change public behaviour, among others.

For more information about EcoBank please visit: http://www.eco-business.com/ec...

The auctioned items included the philosophical book “The Restful Mind” by Gyalwa Dokhampa, donated and autographed by actress and United Nations Development Programme goodwill ambassador, Michelle Yeoh, which fetched S$2,000.

Members of the public supporting the EcoBank Bazaar at City Square Mall.