SINGAPORE: This year’s National Day Parade (NDP) funpacks will include practical and reusable items to encourage more sustainable practices.
Each funpack will include a 750ml sports water bottle with a spout, instead of two bottles of water, and reusable bamboo drinking straws that can be used as clappers during the parade.
The inclusion of these reusable items is in support of local campaigns "Say YES to Waste Less" and "Year Towards Zero Waste".
The funpack will also have a water-resistant lining and adjustable straps, allowing it to be carried as a backpack or sling bag.
Other items included in this year's funpack include a miniature flag, face tattoos, a souvenir magazine, a discount booklet, tissues, a sun visor or fan, mosquito patches and a luggage tag.
According to Chairman of the NDP 2019 logistics and finance committee, Military Expert (ME) 6 Ignatius Tham said that the design of the funpack took about four to six months.
"It began as soon as the previous NDP was over," he said.
"Specifically for this year ... we wanted to do something (to) promote reuse so that people can continue to use the bag long after the NDP celebrations."
When asked about the presence of single-use plastics such as food packaging in the funpack, the organisers referenced Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen's speech last year for the items to be reusable "when available and cost-effective".
Unused ponchos and LED wristbands will be collected at the end of each rehearsal and preview to be given out at the next one as part of the parade's sustainability efforts.
"This year's NDP theme is Our Singapore, and we want to do something for the future, we want to be the pioneers for our future generation," added ME6 Tham.
"I wouldn't say it's too early or too late. But it is (an) opportune time and since all these initiatives are aligned to our efforts, why not (choose) this year ... to promote reuse."
Designed in partnership with the Temasek Foundation, the funpack - which made its debut at the NDP in 1991 - is also meant to be used as an "Emergency Ready Bag", which organisers hope Singaporeans will reuse to store essential items in the event of an emergency home evacuation, for example.
There are also two QR codes that will launch the websites of the Singapore Civil Defence Force for more information on preparing an "Emergency Ready Bag" and the Singapore Red Cross Society's page for details about a free cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillators (AED) course.
Citing the terror attacks in New Zealand, Temasek Foundation director of programmes Fatima Mustafa said that "one can never be too safe".
She added: "I think it is the responsibility of every citizen to be prepared for any kind of emergencies."