Building a circular ecosystem

Key Focus Area:

Next Generation Ports

How can we develop closed-loop systems for collecting, cleaning, and recycling waste (e.g. used cotton gloves, rugs, and mooring ropes)?


To reduce carbon emissions within the port, PSA Singapore has implemented various strategies such as electrifying its cranes and utilising low-carbon fuel horizontal trucks for port operations, targeting its Scope 1 and 2 emissions. There are 15 categories of scope 3 emissions, of which category 5 (waste generated in operations) is challenging to tackle as items disposed could be contaminated and/or made of composite materials that are difficult to recycle. As such, how can we develop closed-loop systems for collecting, cleaning, and recycling waste (e.g. used cotton gloves, rugs, and mooring ropes)?


  • Cotton gloves/rugs can become heavily contaminated with substances like soot, grease and industrial oils during use for equipment maintenance, complicating the recycling process
  • Many items are made of composite materials, which require advanced recycling plants equipped with sophisticated technology to recycle
  • Even with advanced recycling technology, recyclers face difficulty in ensuring a consistent supply of specific feedstock so that operations are economically viable (e.g. required feedstock might surpass the amount of waste generated, or only a fraction of the total waste generated can be utilised as feedstock)


  • Implementing closed-loop systems such as repurposing materials like empty chemical drums, steel cables and air-conditioning units thereby curbing waste generation.


  • Should not cause adverse impacts on the current equipment maintenance regime
  • Should retain useful properties such as breathability, comfort and absorbency (for alternative cotton products)


  • Platform to facilitate matching and collaboration of stakeholders including suppliers, waste management companies and recycling facilities
  • Alternative cotton products made from materials that are easier to clean and less prone to contamination
  • Recycling technologies which can valorise contaminated cotton, and/or composite materials
  • Platform that consolidates and channels feedstock to recyclers to ensure a consistent supply

Shortlisted finalists are enrolled in a two-phase, 12-week programme.

Phase 1: Fit Check - Market Discovery and Validation

Kickstart your journey by diving deep into the heart of your market! In this phase, we'll help you answer the pivotal question: Is there a product-market fit for your solution? Validate your tech, test your assumptions, and find the perfect match for your innovation. A review will be conducted at the end of Phase 1. Only selected participants will advance to Phase 2.

Phase 2: Gap Busters - Navigating New Markets

Now, it's time to bridge the commercial gap. In this phase, you’ll partner with industry veterans who bring sharp business insights to the table. Together, you’ll navigate and conquer markets that may be uncharted territory for your startup.

Although the programme is designed for remote and overseas participants, in-person participation is required for the following events conducted in Singapore: