Ten firms with paper products sold in Singapore have declared that they only obtain wood, paper or pulp materials from socially responsible companies, with more likely to make similar declarations, as the haze continues to linger.
Among the 10 are Canon, Fuji Xerox, Kimberly-Clark Products and Sunlight Paper Products. They sell paper products certified under the Singapore Environment Council's (SEC) Singapore Green Labelling Scheme.
The SEC and the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) said in a joint statement on Monday that another seven third-party manufacturers are expected to submit declarations as well. The list will be regularly updated on both the SEC and Case websites.
This comes after five Indonesian companies were named by the National Environment Agency as possible contributors to the haze pollution. Among them were PT Rimba Hutani Mas; PT Sebangun Bumi Andalas Wood Industries; PT Bumi Sriwijaya Sentosa; PT Wachyuni Mandira and locally incorporated Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) Company. The Singapore government has sent notices to these firms for possible transgressions of the Transboundary Haze Pollution Act.
"Should any of the listed companies become involved in the purchasing or sourcing of wood, paper and/or pulp products from those suspected to be responsible for the haze pollution, they are bound by the declaration to inform the SEC of their activities and will be promptly removed from the list," they said in the statement.
NTUC FairPrice said on Monday evening that it has since approached APP Group, to register its concern and seek clarification on their practices. About 20 per cent of the paper products FairPrice carries are sourced from APP through a licensed distributor in Singapore.
Seah Kian Peng, CEO of NTUC FairPrice, said in a media statement that FairPrice takes "a strong stance" in this matter, as it expect its partners to adopt values that are aligned with the supermarket chain.
"This includes adopting and promoting sustainable practices. The haze affects all of us and we empathise with our customers for the inconvenience and disruption that it has caused. We assure that prompt and firm actions will be taken on any of our suppliers if they are found to be responsible for any unethical practices that contributes to the haze."
Case also urged consumers to consider supporting only socially responsible firms involved in the purchase or sourcing of wood, paper and pulp products.
"This will send a strong signal to the errant companies that consumers' goodwill should not be taken for granted and consumers will not support companies which are environmentally irresponsible and/or have contributed to the environmental disaster year after year," it said.
This article was first published on Oct 6, 2015.
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