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Institutes of higher learning are reducing plastic waste, highlighting climate change in curriculum: MOE

We welcome Mr Jose Tan Shen Jie’s suggestions for institutes of higher learning (IHLs) to encourage the use of reusable containers and offer modules on the impact of climate change (“Institutes of higher learning can do more to promote use of reusable containers on campus”, Nov 21).

The Ministry of Education says institutes of higher learning are committed to sustainability and have been reducing the use of plastics.

The Ministry of Education says institutes of higher learning are committed to sustainability and have been reducing the use of plastics.

Jan Chua, Coordinating Divisional Director, Higher Education Group, Ministry of Education

We welcome Mr Jose Tan Shen Jie’s suggestions for institutes of higher learning (IHLs) to encourage the use of reusable containers and offer modules on the impact of climate change (“ Institutes of higher learning can do more to promote use of reusable containers on campus”, Nov 21).

Our IHLs are strongly committed to environmental sustainability and have been reducing the one-time use of plastics on campus. 

As Mr Tan said, the National University of Singapore (NUS) has been encouraging its community to bring reusables for takeaways through a rebate scheme that has been in place since 2010.

In January next year, NUS will pilot a rental system for reusable containers to take away food and drinks at one of its largest canteens, and roll this out progressively across its campuses. 

In other IHLs such as Republic Polytechnic, canteens no longer provide plastic straws and lids unless requested.

Environmental sustainability is an increasingly integral part of the IHL curriculum, and spans common as well as elective modules to ensure that all students learn about the impact of climate change. 

For example, Nanyang Technological University has introduced a new mandatory course on sustainability for its undergraduates, starting this year. Similarly, the Institute of Technical Education has incorporated eco-sustainability into all its courses.

As part of the Singapore Green Plan 2030, IHLs have been stepping up their sustainability efforts by building greener infrastructure, promoting sustainable living on campus and contributing to research on environmental sustainability. 

IHLs also raise awareness of environmental issues through campus events and student activities.

We encourage more young Singaporeans like Mr Tan to step forward and contribute to building a greener future for Singapore.

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MOE IHL plastic waste reusable climate change global warming

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