Singapore

Drop unused reusable bags into donation bins at supermarkets

This article is more than 12 months old

Forgotten reusable bags can now be put to good use.

As of yesterday, people can drop their unused reusable bags into a donation bin at eight supermarket outlets - two of each from FairPrice, Sheng Siong, Cold Storage and Prime Supermarket.

Local environmental group Zero Waste SG (ZWSG), which is behind the initiative, will collect and ensure the bags are in good condition before redistributing them to shoppers at each of the selected outlets.

This will happen every two to four weeks from now till October.

"Singapore has a 'use and throw' culture.

"We want to reduce the country's excessive usage of plastic bags and cultivate a habit of using reusable bags when shopping," said ZWSG manager Pek Hai Lin, at the launch of the initiative held at FairPrice Xtra at Kallang Wave Mall yesterday.

Using a reusable bag for a year is estimated to save 125 single-use plastic bags, according to a study commissioned by the National Environment Agency.

NOT ENOUGH

"Though the initiative is a good step to encourage the use of reusable bags, this alone is not enough," said retiree Narayanan S. R., 70.

"It is the mindset of the population that they are entitled to use plastic bags which needs to be changed."

But a fellow shopper, who declined to give his full name, thinks that the initiative will not be effective.

The 67-year-old retiree said: "Everyone already has a reusable bag somewhere at home, and will still need to use plastic bags eventually.

"I try to take at least 10 plastic bags when I go grocery shopping, because what else am I going to use to dispose my garbage at home?"

The participating outlets are: FairPrice at City Square Mall and Kallang Wave Mall; Sheng Siong at Clementi West Block 720 and Junction 10; Cold Storage at Compass One and Fusionopolis Way; and Prime Supermarkets at Joo Seng and Jurong West Street 75.

Environment