The CNY period is usually accompanied with shopping. Loads and loads of shopping. Like they say, “out with the old, in with the new” - as you do your CNY spring cleaning to make way for new purchases, don’t throw away everything yet. Check out these 3 interesting initiatives by local businesses where you can recycle your unwanted items!


#1 Recycle your used red packets with REFASH x Geneco’s CNY Red Packet Recycling Project

You guessed it, that’s us! This time, we’ve partnered up with local energy company Geneco Singapore to recycle red packets for the festive season. Geneco is an electricity supplier in Singapore and just like us, their goal is to build a more sustainable future. Over the years, they have been consistently organising and taking part in environmental and social initiatives, and this is their most recent one. 

Think about it- do you really reuse red packets given to you? Or do you have leftover Rat Year red packets that can’t be used anymore? From 10 February till 8 March 2021, Geneco will be collecting used red packets, which will then be responsibly recycled with partner recycling company, Tay Paper Recycling. Your red packets will then be recycled into paper rolls, sheets or made into other paper products.

REFASH x Geneco’s recycling boxes can be found at all of our REFASH retail stores, as well as IUIGA stores and CRU studios (list of recycling box locations can be found here). So next time you pop by for some CNY shopping, remember to bring along your old angpows instead of throwing them away! 

#2 Recycle your contact lens blisters with TWOOAK’s Project 2x2 

 Credit: https://www.twooak.com 


Project 2x2 (two by two) was started in 2019 by local contact lens supplier TWOOAK to help recycle the plastic blister packs (packaging for contact lenses). Contact lenses are a daily necessity for many, and most of us simply chuck the opened blister pack away after use (I am guilty of doing this too...).

But contact lenses and their packaging are so tiny, how much waste can there be? 85,000kg a month, according to Mrs Sherie Wong, marketing director of eyewear retailer Capitol Optical, in an interview with TODAY news.  

With Project 2x2, you can now recycle your contact lens blisters (any brand!) by signing up. TWOOAK will then send over a recycling envelope for you to mail over your blisters. Don’t want to waste envelopes? TWOOAK also has a few partner locations islandwide, where you can drop off your blisters in their collection boxes too. With partner Tay Paper Recyclling, the plastic blisters will then be recycled into raw material for new products. Now you can wear your lenses guilt-free!

#3 Recycle your e-waste with Metalo x Shell 

Credit: https://mothership.sg/2021/01/e-waste-recycling-bins-shell-singapore/


Last but not least, electronic waste. New phones, tablets, gaming consoles, etc are being released so quickly nowadays that it is common for us to have a pile of old electronics at home after the latest upgrades! 

When they are not properly disposed, these electronics release toxic heavy metals like lead and mercury into soil, affecting growing plants. Such toxic waste can also enter our groundwater and eventually enter the sea. And these heavy metals eventually come back to us as we consume produce from farms using contaminated water and seafood from the sea. That’s quite scary...

So how? Shell Singapore has partnered up with recycling company Metalo in 2019 to come up with a proper system to recycle your electronic waste. You can now recycle your e-waste at these special recycling bins at participating Shell stations. Old phones? Thumbdrives? Broken earpieces? Printer that doesn’t work anymore? You name it, they’ll recycle it. After collection, Metalo will dismantle and destroy all data-storing components so that your privacy is protected. Tada, your e-waste will then be sent to refineries overseas to be recycled into something new!


There are tons of other initiatives to help reduce wastage and create a circular economy, but I’ll only be covering 3 today. Hopefully this read will be useful for next time when you want to throw something away!

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