What’s blue, squarish and went out of stock fast after its release?
No silly, it isn’t the limited-edition blue version of the iPhone 14. It’s the freshly launched Bloobox!
As part of the Recycle Right campaign by the National Environmental Agency (NEA), Bloobox is a reusable and washable recycling box with infographics stating what items can be recycled. This initiative aims to encourage more households to foster the habit of recycling and also to recycle right, so as to reduce the current 40% contamination rate in our blue recycling bins.
For those of us who love a good bargain (us included), you would be pleased to know that each household may redeem a Bloobox for free. Indeed, true to the ‘Kiasu’ spirit of Singaporeans, Bloobox stocks were wiped clean at several locations over the weekend of its initial release.
With all this hype surrounding Bloobox, we too wanted to be at the center of this action! We collected our own Bloobox and excitedly created a recycling corner for our work office. However, our doubts quickly arose as we assembled the simple plastic box. We couldn’t help but be somewhat skeptical. Will Bloobox really be effective in achieving its noble goal? Is it going to be a hit or a miss? Only time will tell.
The Scientific Method:
And so, we began our quest to determine the effectiveness of this very item. We decided to investigate our query using the well-established ‘Scientific method’! Most of us have learned and applied this very technique at some point during our early primary and secondary school days, but here’s a quick recap just in case.
The Scientific method is a systematic process of finding answers to our questions and requires the use of scientific inquiry skills. This method has 5 key stages – “Question, Hypothesis, Experiment, Data collection, Analysis and Conclusion”. Follow us as we put the Scientific method in action for our investigation.
Will Bloobox be effective in promoting the recycling rate in our office?
Yes, we believe that Bloobox will help to increase the overall recycling rate in our office by nurturing the habit of recycling in our fellow colleagues.
We started our Bloobox recycling corner and actively promoted to our colleagues about its birth. Our study occurred over a period of 7 working days (29th March to 5th April 2023). At the end of each day, all items in the Bloobox were removed. A check on their recyclability was conducted and any non-recyclable material was noted. The daily haul was then sorted into the 4 main categories of recyclables (metal, plastic, paper and glass). Each group of recyclables was weighed and their data recorded. Lastly, the recyclables were cleared from our office and transferred into Science Centre’s main recycling bin.
4. Data collected and analysis:
Here are our findings:
– A grand total of 3.225 kg of recyclables was collected throughout our experiment.
– That brings the average daily recycling rate to be about 460.7g. This is an encouraging start!
– Paper and metal were the top 2 types of waste recycled. Specifically, metal drink cans formed the majority for “metal” group and on inspection.
– Surprisingly, most of the drink cans recycled were actually rinsed prior to being placed into our Bloobox. On the flip side, we observed that some metal drink cans were still discarded in general waste bin and not recycled.
– Lastly, a total of 45g of laminated paper (a non-recyclable) was detected in our Bloobox and duly disposed as general waste. Although disappointing, it comprised only of a small part of the total recyclables collected.
Here are some images collected during our study:
Bloobox’s arrival in our office!
Day 1– Ended the day with a promising start.
Day 4 — Laminated goods within the Bloobox.
Day 6 – Metal cans were found in the general waste bin
Aha, so our hypothesis was correct! Without a doubt, Bloobox was a big success as it had helped our office contribute a daily recycling rate of about half a kilogram. This is a significant improvement from the initial zero yield. Kudos to the team on a job well done.
Our Critical Review:
After giving ourselves a well-deserved pat on our backs like elated school children who completed their science experiment, it was time to review Bloobox more critically. Here are some strengths & weaknesses we have identified for Bloobox:
– Hit: It was easy to set up for a recycling corner
– Hit: It served as a constant visual reminder for us to support the recycling effort
– Hit: Its infographic helped to remind us on what we can and cannot recycle
– Miss: Its capacity is rather small, so it can be filled up fast and would require frequent emptying of the box.
– Miss: Bloobox alone did not encourage everyone to support the recycling effort.
Our verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars!
Tips for Readers:
If you are keen to setup a recycling corner using Bloobox at home, we have some recommendations for you so you can achieve greater success with it:
1. Place it near your general waste bin, for it to be a more effective reminder.
2. Prop up the Bloobox at a height for better visibility of its infographic.
3. Ideally to be put near a sink so it is more convenient for you to rinse your metal drink cans prior to recycling it.
4. Encourage your family to be on board with the recycling effort by getting them to watch videos by ZeroWasteSG and learn what to recycle.
TLDR – Bloobox is a good start to form the habit of recycling:
All in all, Bloobox is definitely not a magical solution that will get everyone to recycle immediately but it is a great starting point! Originally, this started off as our fun little experiment but has now evolved into a permanent recycling corner in our office. Hopefully, more households in Singapore will recycle right and allow us to progress towards our national target of a 70% overall recycling rate by 2030 under the SG Green Plan.
So what are you waiting for?
Go collect your very own free Bloobox now before it ends on 30th April 2023.
If you are keen to learn more about recycling, do visit Science Centre Singapore from 18-30 April 2023 and join us for our exciting “Waste Buster” activity in celebration of International Mother Earth Day Let’s all do our part and make recycling part of our DNA!
Written by Janice Tow and Wang Jia Sheng
Illustrated by Liaw Jia Xuan