Author: Sheryl Lee


19 Jul WE’RE HIRING – Project Executive (Food Waste) based in Singapore [CLOSED]

Placement Title: Project Executive – Food Waste
Location: Singapore
Start Date: 15th August 2018
Time Requirement: Full-Time for contract period (August – December 2018)*

*With opportunity to extend or convert to a full-time role based on performance

About the Role:

Gone Adventurin is working on pioneering, strategic projects in Asia to tackle the serious environmental challenges posed by post-consumer waste in the areas of packaging, particularly plastics, and food.

Why Asia? Because Asia is the biggest contributor to post-consumer waste mismanagement in the world. Over 80% of plastics entering the oceans comes from Asia with just 5 countries responsible for most of this pollution. 52% of fruits and vegetables in Asia are wasted, with the majority of this food loss happening at farm, post-harvest and processing stages even before it reaches stores, supermarkets or consumers.

If you are inspired to tackle the complex challenges of plastic entering the oceans here in Asia or over 1/3rd of all food being wasted, then consider joining our team. Gone Adventurin is a sustainability consultancy and project implementation partner on a mission to tackle post-consumer waste in Asia. Our vision is to create a world without waste.

We are looking for a Project Executive with strong analytical and critical thinking skills, in addition to Mandarin language skills (as this is a requirement for the job role), for our research projects in Singapore and the region.  This role based in Singapore involves working on a food waste project in Singapore in collaboration with businesses and government. The focus of the role includes liaising with businesses, conducting surveys and data collection and supporting waste audits and creation of insights. The goal of the project is to create pioneering science based research; provide key insights, strategic recommendations and measurable outcomes; and implement groundbreaking strategies to significantly drive circular economy in Singapore and Asia.

Working with Gone Adventurin provides the opportunity to work in a small, mindfully growing, Singapore-headquartered company dedicated to finding business-driven solutions to tackle waste challenges in Asia. We are dedicated, diverse team of 5 nationalities with multi-faceted backgrounds in engineering, business, packaging, environment, economics, policy and finance. While primarily based in Singapore, the role may involve local travel within the Asia region with an opportunity to meet and build relationships with a wide range of local stakeholders from industry, government and NGOs.

Applications welcome from graduates and undergraduates.


  • Fluent in speaking and reading in Mandarin (as this is a requirement for the job role)
  • 1+ years of experience in management or environmental consulting or in a research, strategy or data analytics role in business, government agencies, NGOs or throughout University/Polytechnic
  • The right attitude, interpersonal and communication skills to work with and manage relationships with people of all backgrounds, from C-Level and senior management of multinationals to recycling workers
  • Problem-solving, analytical skills, evidenced research capabilities (e.g. past research or data analysis reports which shows capabilities in these areas) and experience in primary and secondary data collection
  • Evidenced passion and deep-seated aspiration to tackle environmental challenges.
  • Self motivated and highly organized individual able to work in a dynamic and deliverables-oriented work environment
  • Excellent referrals from at least 1 previous client, past employers or professor
  • Capable and comfortable traveling throughout Singapore to conduct research and meet with stakeholders
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel)
  • Strong English skills – verbal and written


  • Bachelor’s degree in Physical Sciences (e.g. Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry), Engineering, Environment, Statistics, Business, Accounting or Finance
  • Experience in research on environmental sustainability topics – especially waste management or recycling. If you do not have waste management experience and/or circular economy understanding we require you to take 1-2 short online courses before starting on the role.
  • Proficiency in using Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides

How to Apply:

To apply, please send to all of the below:

  1. Your CV
  2. Cover letter
  3. Written references (preferred)

Note for Applicants:

  • Please apply by 30th July 2018
  • We usually receive a number of applicants for our open positions so we may only be able to respond to applicants who meet our requirements
  • We may require you to take 1-2 short online courses on solid waste management before starting on the role
  • Applicants who meet our requirements for this role can expect a 2-step interview process
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13 Jun OP-ED – Plastics: Enough Trash Talk

Plastics: Enough trash talk

It’s time to end the talk on plastics as trash. It can be a valuable resource for a small country like Singapore. But this is possible only if governments and businesses approach plastics the right way, and when individuals can look beyond waste disposal and realise the real impact of our plastic problem.

A supermarket plastic bag serves its real purpose for 30 minutes, the duration of a journey in Singapore. In a drink, a straw is utilised for just 5 minutes. The use of a plastic stirrer is even more short-lived: all of 10 seconds.

These items have fleeting lifespans, but they outlive us by a long shot – 400 years, to be exact.

Left in our environment, plastics affect ocean health and biodiversity, including corals, seabirds and endangered species. The problem does not simply end there.

Before they even enter our homes, plastics already contribute to climate change. Globally, the manufacturing of plastics consumes the same amount of fossil fuel as the entire aviation industry.

We are living plastic in every way: eating, drinking and even breathing it. Around the world, microplastics have been found in the guts of one out of four fish, in tap water samples of 14 countries and even in air pollution.

Convenience numbs common sense

Little is being done to address this. There was a huge public outcry when the four largest supermarkets in Singapore floated the idea of  a plastic bag charge. Recently, the government announced a decision against a plastic bag ban, highlighting incineration as a solution.

In this all-or-nothing debate that focuses solely on plastic bags, we are missing the point: that we continue to have a major problem with plastic use.

Meanwhile, Singapore generated over 800 million kg of plastic waste last year, only 6% of which was recycled.

The rest of the world is far ahead in taking action on plastic waste.

More than 40 countries have plastic bag bans or taxes in place, including China, Rwanda and Italy. Just across the Causeway, Johor is set to ban plastic bags plastics and polystyrene by this year. Last year, 39 governments announced new commitments to reduce the amount of plastic going into the sea.

By not taking action to reduce plastic’s widespread use, we are perpetuating this global problem. It is high time for a mindset overhaul on plastic in Singapore.

Use less and “useless” plastic

Rather than an all-or-nothing approach, the key lies in understanding what we should use less of, and what we can and should eliminate.

There are “useless” or unnecessary plastics – those that provide a few extra minutes of convenience but are disposed after use. Most plastic straws, lids, cups and stirrers fall in this category. Refusing these useless plastics is an easy step to cutting down on plastic use.

There are plastics that are useful that we can still reduce. A case in point: plastic bags. Singapore’s current usage of plastic bags borders on the excessive. A person in Singapore is estimated to use about 13 plastic bags a day, much more than any household would need for trash disposal.

Alternatives in the form of reusables are widely available in the market today. A recent study by the National Environment Agency has found that a reusable bag replaces the use of 125 single-use plastic bags in a year.

A plastic bag charge can be an effective way to reduce plastic use. Consumption of single-use plastic bags fell by 95 per cent when Ireland introduced a levy in 2002.

In Singapore, lifestyle store chain Miniso witnessed a 75% drop in plastic bag take-up rate after it implemented a $0.10 plastic bag charge in April 2017.

Not all plastics are trash

Even as individuals focus on using less plastic, a wider systemic change is needed to make plastics more useful. Globally, 95% of plastics worth up to US$120 billion are discarded after the first use. Effective recycling ensures that we do not lose economic value from this useful material.

Plastic packaging cannot be eliminated, but it needs to be recovered.

In Singapore, packaging makes up a third of domestic waste. But not enough is being done to hold businesses accountable for the plastics they introduce into the market. In countries such as Japan, for instance, there are laws in place to ensure that businesses do their part to recycle.

Separating plastic waste at the point of disposal also enhances recycling. Currently, Singapore does not require plastics to be segregated from other types of waste. This model undermines recycling efforts and instead incentivises incineration, including that of plastics.

Singapore has made a name for ourselves globally in recovering value from precious resources. We do this for paper and even the water we drink. Why aren’t we treating plastics the same way? An expensive, highly pollutive method like incineration should only be the last solution when all other options are unavailable.

Stop trash talking, start fixing

We have limited time to turn things around. With the looming global plastics crisis, business-as-usual cannot apply.

Businesses need to be held accountable for used plastic, however useful its purpose. This includes being responsible for the entire life cycle of plastics, from packaging to recovery after use.

On a national level, the channels and infrastructure need to be in place to effectively enable recycling by businesses and individuals. Incentives encourage manufacturers to take more responsibility, while disincentives like a plastic tax help spur much needed behaviour change.

To expedite the move towards a more sustainable future, individuals should also play their part by using less plastic, and supporting business and government measures that help address this issue.

We need to stop pushing the responsibility between individuals, businesses and government.

Everyone needs to step up and take action for a problem we will share with the next 16 generations.

The same article was published by The Straits Times on 19 April 2018.


Ahead of Earth Day on 22 April, ten local NGOs and interest groups have co-signed this opinion piece, representing their shared view about the urgent need for collective action on plastic use in Singapore. They are:

  1. ASEAN CSR Network is a regional business organisation promoting responsible business practices.
  2. Ocean Recovery Alliance is a non-profit organisation working on solutions and collaborations to improve ocean health.
  3. Gone Adventurin’ is a business consultancy focused on driving circular economy in Asia.
  4. International Coastal Cleanup Singapore coordinates and organises marine trash clean-ups on beaches and mangroves.
  5. Plastic Disclosure Project works to reduce the environmental impact of plastics in products and packaging.
  6. Plastic-Lite Singapore is a volunteer community raising awareness about the over-use of disposable plastics.
  7. NUS Toddycats! is a volunteer group with the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.
  8. Tingkat Heroes is an initiative working with communities, schools and businesses to go disposables-free.
  9. Team Small Change is a community that champions small individual changes for large environmental impact.
  10. WWF-Singapore is a global conservation organisation protecting the natural environment and resources.
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02 Apr WE’RE HIRING – Research Surveyor in Kuala Lumpur

Placement Title: Research Surveyor

Location: Kuala Lumpur

Start & End Date: 21st May 2018 to 30th June 2018

Time Requirement: Ideally Full Time (5 days a week). Minimum 3 days a week (Flexible on whether weekdays or weekends)

Type of role: Contractor

About this Project

Approximately 8 million tons of plastic leak into the ocean every year, with 80% of this from Asia.   Malaysia is considered one of the top 8 countries for ocean plastic pollution, with approximately 0.94 million tonnes of plastic mismanaged and leaking into the environment every year.

Gone Adventurin has been commissioned to research plastic and packaging flows in Malaysia (focused on KL) to provide key insights, pioneering metrics and strategic recommendations to our client and to the packaging and consumer goods industry in Malaysia to move towards a world without waste. This research will equip stakeholders with science based evidence, tools and frameworks to create large scale solutions.  

About The Role

Objective of role is to conduct high quality surveys for research into the current status quo of waste in KL.

This includes:

– Conducting surveys:

– Across a pre-agreed number of households, waste collectors, recycling pickers, bulk waste generators, and junk shops. (Approximately 50-75 in total)

– These surveys will be split evenly across different pre-agreed districts, income levels etc.

– Surveys must be completed per schedule and timelines agreed.

– Ensuring that the surveys are high quality:

– Without errors in the data

– All data collected must be standardised to consistent units

– Translating any Malay notes taken during the surveys to English.

– Being available for contact throughout the project duration for any clarifications or updates.

Further details on the above will provided upon role confirmation including finalising the number of surveys and timeline.

A fee of 17 MYR will be paid for every survey completed that meets the quality standards mentioned above. On average, the Research Surveyor is expected to conduct 50-75 surveys over a 4 week period.

Prerequisites and skill sets needed

  • Good communication and interpersonal skills – to approach various stakeholders.
  • Good quantitative data gathering skills to ensure quality of the data collected through the surveys.
  • Capable and comfortable traveling in KL for surveys.
  • At least an intermediate knowledge of English – to communicate with the GA team in Singapore. Survey questions will be in Malay, but the responses must be submitted in English.
  • A basic background in sustainability and environment. Note that past experience in waste management is not required – we’ll train the selected candidate on waste management knowledge required for the role.

What’s in it for you

1. Opportunity to work on a pioneering research study to transform recycling and waste management in Vietnam.

2. Be part of Gone Adventurin – a mindfully growing, Singapore-headquartered social enterprise dedicated to finding business-driven solutions to tackle waste challenges in Asia.

About Gone Adventurin (GA)

Asia is the biggest contributor to post-consumer waste mismanagement in the world. Gone Adventurin is a sustainability consultancy and project implementation partner on a mission to tackle post-consumer waste in Asia. Our vision is to create a world without waste.

We help companies design business strategies, implement pilots to recycle post-consumer waste and create closed loop supply chains so that nothing goes to waste. Our work enables our clients to become attractive to investors and loved by consumers. We have worked with clients such as P&G in India, Danone in Indonesia, Dole Foods in the Philippines, National Environment Agency in Singapore and Unilever in Vietnam.

Apply Now!

To apply, send your resume/CV to

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