The Singapore Environment Council (SEC) and its group of environmental volunteers known as the Earth Helpers have set a new record in the Singapore Book of Records for the largest text measuring 7.3 metres by 2.4 metres formed by plastic bottle caps for a backdrop at the inaugural SEC Coca-Cola® Eco Autumn Festival 2015.
Led primarily by 300 Earth Helpers, the volunteers came together to conceptualise and execute a recycling-themed community engagement programme at City Square Mall, Singapore’s first eco mall. In total, the Earth Helpers put in about 4,516 hours over six months carrying out various activities like planning the stage props, soliciting materials for the Eco Lantern Competition, designing games for the edutainment booths and collecting 13,000 plastic bottle caps to create the stage backdrop.
Visitors can catch the Eco Lantern Competition where 20 teams comprising two members each pit their skills of turning discarded items into lanterns on-the-spot. Guest-of-Honour, Ms Denise Phua, Mayor of Central Singapore District, initiated the launch mechanism for the Competition which is a globe constructed out of used plastic bottles, built by students from MINDS - Fernvale Gardens School.
Said Ms Denise Phua, Mayor of Central Singapore District: “Central Singapore CDC believes strongly in the cause of protecting and caring for our living environment. We are pleased to work alongside community partners such as SEC and Coca-Cola to champion the environmental cause such as through this creative Upcycling initiative. At Central Singapore CDC, we believe that everyone has a role in this cause and each individual action, no matter how small it may appear, goes a long way in caring for our environment. We encourage everyone – young and old – to proactively do our part to help make Singapore a green home for all.”
“The partnership between Coca-Cola Singapore and the SEC brings together volunteers and the community, the two important groups that can create a real impact in making recycling a way of life here in Singapore. Leveraging on the popularity of the Mid-Autumn Festival, the celebrations and the environment all go hand-in-hand, showing that we can still enjoy our traditions while making a positive contribution towards environmental sustainability. Our Earth Helpers have exemplified what the community can truly accomplish when it works together towards a shared goal,” said Mr Edwin Seah, Executive Director of SEC.
Added Mr Seah: “We are all feeling the effects of climate change and it will have a more pronounced effect on the next generation. Regardless of the schools these children come from, this event and
other subtle reminders of the 3R – Recycle, Reuse, Reduce, will resonate within them, and they will accept the 3Rs as a lifestyle, rather than an inconvenience.”
Present at the Festival will be the Coca-Cola Recycle Happiness Machine which rewards the act of recycling by dispensing surprise gifts. Members of the public who return their used beverage bottles and cans in this machine will be rewarded with Coca-Cola collectibles, including items made from recycled PET plastic bottles, such as t-shirts and drink bottles. The machine accepts all clean, recyclable empty plastic beverage bottles and cans.
“Sustainability is at the heart of The Coca-Cola Company’s business, and we have a long-standing commitment to help protect the environment, both globally and locally. We are very proud to be supporting this inaugural Eco Autumn Festival and to be partnering with SEC and the Earth Helpers to raise awareness about sustainable packaging and recycling in Singapore. We hope that this event will inspire and motivate Singaporeans to develop better recycling habits, which in turn will have a positive and meaningful impact on our local environment and the community,” said Ms Laura Davidson, Communications and Sustainability Manager, Coca-Cola Singapore & Malaysia.
As part of the celebrations, the Earth Helpers have put together 15 edutainment booths along with stage performances. The public can participate in games such as Match & Win, Eco Riddles and Kids Eco Quiz Animal Impersonation, and win attractive prizes like shopping vouchers, Royal Mooncake sets, LEGO construction sets each worth $399 and a Coca-Cola Emeco 111 Navy Chair, made from 111 recycled PET bottles, valued at $590.
Earth Helper, Ms Sawako who worked with her own 6 and 14-year-old in this Festival said, “My children always accompanied me when I volunteer as an Earth Helper. Children learn from example and are quick to pick up skillsets because of their dexterity and nimbleness. They are now part of the team and look up to the Earth Helpers as ordinary people who do extraordinary tasks!”
Ms Didier Ng and Wen, both co-founders of 好公民 (Hao Gong Min), a local eco-design collaborative established in 2012, have in the consecutive weeks leading up to the Festival, led the SEC’s team of Eco-volunteers to design this bottle cap montage backdrop, which is vying for a place in the Singapore Book of Records. 好公民 (Hao Gong Min’s) eco-booth will be showcasing their latest product launch during this collaborative event. “It is our mantra to lead the eco-passage by example. We live and breathe what mother nature has given to us, let us return that favour as responsible citizens, good citizens,” said the good people at 好公民 (Hao Gong Min).
SEC is partnering with more than 20 organisations across the 3P sectors like National Environment Agency, Birdlife International Asia, Food Bank, BreadTalk, Volvo East Asia, among others to set up fun and interactive kiosks where people can learn and be empowered to live more sustainably daily.
About the Singapore Environment Council
Established in 1995, the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) is an independently managed, non-government organisation that nurtures, facilitates and co-ordinates environmental causes in Singapore. SEC’s work is founded on three pillars of action – Firstly, partnership with the people, private and public sectors of Singaporean society, to nurture a culture aligned with sustainable development concepts. Secondly, SEC rewards environmental excellence through awards schemes and product endorsement programmes, such as the Singapore Green Labelling Scheme. Thirdly, the SEC collaborates with partners to develop and implement training and learning programmes to build competencies in environmental sustainability within companies, thus keeping our business leaders ahead of the curve. Visit our website at www.sec.org.sg.