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EcoBank 2018 returns for third year to ‘save our stuff’!

  • The third edition of EcoBank, an initiative by City Developments Limited (CDL) and Eco-Business, calls on Singaporeans to give their old belongings a new lease of life and help raise funds to support disadvantaged children in Singapore.)

(From left) Beneficiaries of The Children’s Charities Association of Singapore (CCA); Mr Robin Hicks, Eco-Business Deputy Editor, Eco-Business; Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources and Ministry of Health; Mr Sherman Kwek, CDL Group CEO; Ms Arasi Santhana, CCA Chairman; and Ms Esther An, CDL Chief Sustainability Officer, at the official opening ceremony of EcoBank 2018 and the launch of Fashion 3R.

Singapore, 2 March 2018 – To encourage conscious consumption and to raise awareness of waste generation, Singapore’s national zero-waste initiative EcoBank is back with its marketplace of preloved items as well as the new ‘Fashion 3R’ initiative, which includes textile upcycling workshops and a clothes swap, 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 three months of awareness-raising about the need for sustainable consumption and waste reduction during the Christmas and Lunar New Year festive period in Singapore.

The Bazaar kicks off on Friday 2 March at CDL’s City Square Mall and will run from 10am to 8pm every day until Sunday 4 March.

EcoBank’s official opening ceremony will take place on Saturday 3 March at 2.30pm, and will be attended by Guest-of-Honour Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources and Ministry of Health.

Dr Amy Khor toured the EcoBank Bazaar, accompanied by Mr Sherman Kwek, CDL Group CEO (in blue).

Dr Amy Khor received an upcycled necklace from students and teachers from the Raffles College of Higher Education during EcoBank’s opening ceremony.

This year’s Bazaar also marks the launch of sister initiative Fashion 3R (F3R) in partnership with CDL, National Environment Agency, Eco-Business, Connected Threads Asia and the Raffles College of Higher Education, to spread awareness about sustainable fashion and the true cost of consumption. It is also in support of Ministry of Environment and Water Resources’ Year of Climate Action goals.

F3R has organised a host of fringe activities about sustainable fashion, including a showcase and sale of outfits upcycled by students by the Raffles College of Higher Education from clothes donated to EcoBank. There will also be upcycling workshops by local textile artist Agatha Lee, and a Swapaholic clothes swap session held at the Singapore Sustainability Academy at City Square Mall.

Ms Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer of CDL, the co-organiser of EcoBank and F3R said: “At CDL, we have a long-standing commitment to sustainability not just for our business, but also the community and environment. Through initiatives such as EcoBank and Fashion 3R, we hope to shift mindsets and change behaviour from a linear ‘take-make-dispose’ model to a circular one that keeps resources in use for as long as possible. With the collective efforts of our stakeholders, partners and the public, every gram of waste diverted from the landfill is one step closer to realising Singapore’s vision of becoming a zero-waste nation by 2030. At the same time, proceeds raised from the EcoBank Bazaar will help to enhance the quality of life for our beneficiaries.”

The 2018 EcoBank campaign also included various activities held in the months leading up to the Bazaar, which aimed to raise awareness of the issue of waste generation in Singapore.

From January 5 to February 9, EcoBank collection points were set up at seven CDL commercial 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 items that were still in good condition, including clothing, toys, books and accessories. An additional collection point was also set up in the Environment Building, open to the staff from Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, and its statuary boards, the National Environment Agency and the Public Utilities Board.

An EcoBank Communications Pack was distributed to local communities and organisations to empower them to start their own EcoBank Collection Drives and spread the zero-waste message.

More than 360 volunteers spent 1,620 hours sorting and curating the collection of about 17.5 tonnes or 17,500 kg of goods. In addition, 180 volunteers, including 80 CDL volunteers, will contribute a total of 720 volunteer hours to manage the three-day Bazaar.

According to partner organisation Turnkey Solutions, Singapore has saved 7,012 tonnes of carbon emissions as a result of diverting clothes, toys, books and fashion accessories from the incinerator through EcoBank 2018. Compared to 2,646 tonnes of carbon emissions savings in 2017, there has been an increase of 4,366 tonnes of carbon emissions saved in EcoBank 2018.

All proceeds from the Bazaar will be donated to CCA, while unsold items will be passed on to CCA and other NGOs such as MINDS, Soles4Souls and a women’s charity in Sri Lanka to benefit their fund-raising efforts.

Ms Jessica Cheam, Managing Editor of Eco-Business, said Singapore’s response to EcoBank’s messages of responsible consumption and zero waste has grown stronger each year, with more individuals and organisations volunteering their time and effort to support the initiative.

“With 2018 having been designated the Year of Climate Action by the government, it is more important than ever that every Singaporean becomes aware of how much trash each of us

generates, the impact that has on the environment, and how we can change our behaviour for the better. EcoBank has proven to be an increasingly critical platform for education.”

Singapore produced 7.81 million tonnes of trash in 2016, up from 7.67 million tonnes in 2015, according to the National Environment Agency*.

EcoBank is an independent initiative by CDL and Eco-Business that aligns with the Year of Climate Action as declared by the Singapore government. The government also aims to increase the national recycling rate to 70 per cent and reduce the city-state’s total amount of waste generated.

Ms Arasi Santhana, Chairman of The Children's Charities Association of Singapore, said: “CCA with its member charities is greatly honoured to be the beneficiary of sustainable initiative EcoBank, Singapore’s national zero-waste campaign, and to be partnering CDL and Eco-Business in urging our children, youth and the public to be more conscious of the environmental impacts of their lifestyle choices.”

For more information about EcoBank please visit the EcoBank website or the EcoBank Facebook page.