Singapore plastics industry supports innovations towards a circular economy

4 February 2022
Singapore plastics industry supports innovations towards a circular economy

Among the countries in Southeast Asia, Singapore has taken a special place for being an ideal investment site for major players in the plastics industry as many of them operate subsidiaries and retain their production facilities in the country. These global companies are attracted by Singapore’s investment incentives, efficient infrastructure and professional workforce.


SABIC operates an antioxidant production plant in Singapore.

One major plastics industry player is SABIC, which has expanded its production capacity through additional investment in a resin facility for the production of its ULTEM™ brand Singapore in 2021 to cater to its customers in the Asia –Pacific region.

Another company is BASF which operates an antioxidant production plant at Jurong Island. The plant serves the Asia and the Middle East markets with BASF’s additives, among them Irganox 1010.


Milliken & Company operates a state-of-the-art chemical plant and knowledge center for Asia in Singapore.

Also Lanxess operates a modern butyl rubber plant and neodymium-based performance butadiene rubber (Nd-PBR) in Singapore and Milliken & Company constructed there a state-of-the-art chemical manufacturing plant and knowledge center for Asia. The company now operates an applications lab and technical service and sales office in Singapore, and celebrated its 20-year presence in the region.


Engineering plastics production innovations have been developed and put into trials in laboratory centers in Singapore. Covestro has joined an international group of companies in launching the Composite Application Center (CAC) in Singapore. The center develops end-to-end solutions for composite applications for various industries and serves as platform where customer trials, prototyping, pilot manufacturing, training and support services are conducted. Recently, a team of scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA has developed a ‘smart’ food packaging material which is biodegradable, sustainable and even kills dangerous micro-organisms which are harmful to human health.  The waterproof material could also extend the shelf life of soft fruit for up to three days.


Singapore is embracing the circular economy goals.

Moving forward, Singapore’s plastics industry is taking major steps to achieve a circular economy starting with raising its recycling activities, and this creates a potential market for advanced recycling technologies.



The country’s population of nearly 4 billion is a thriving consumer market where packaging accounts for the bulk of the domestic waste. But like its Southeast Asian neighbors, Singapore is facing its own battle on how to curtail its mounting waste as substantial share of its domestic waste is incinerated. There is also growing concern as Singapore’s lone landfill site in Semakau Island is expected to be full by 2035.


The Plastics Recycling Association Singapore (PRAS) is piloting the country’s first PET bottle-to-bottle recycling plant.

One of the major developments in the move towards a circular economy was the creation of its first industry association dedicated to recycling, the Plastics Recycling Association Singapore (PRAS) in 2021, to bring together organizations, institutions, government agencies and other sectors to explore ways to support plastic waste recycling as identified in the country’s Zero Waste Masterplan. Its first project is the PET bottle-to-bottle plant. With PET bottle recycling’s emerging popularity in the region, Singapore is eyeing the construction of a PET bottle recycling facility and increasing demand for recycling systems.