Don’t charge the first plastic bag

So it seems like next time go NTUC may have to buy plastic bags liao.

Straits Times reported that NTUC, Dairy Farm Group, Prime Supermarket and Sheng Siong are discussing if they want to charge customers for every plastic bag used.

My mother asked me: “Does this mean we gotta spend money to buy plastic bags to line our rubbish bins?”

Since the on trend thing now is to save the earth, I showed her this ST graphics  and taught her how to sort out the different kinds of rubbish. We folded newspapers into containers and tried to fill a bread loaf package with wet waste to see how much it can take.

170924_Before you toss it out..._v4


“Quite troublesome,” said my mum. “Maybe we should just buy garbage bags for our rubbish.”

The ST article cited retail stores such as IKEA, Bossini and Miniso, which impose a charge and saw a significant reduction in the number of plastic bags used. But hor, we don’t buy eggs, fresh fish, raw meat, vege, potatoes, onions etc from these places. If what you buy is a t-shirt, a handphone charger or a cushion cover, of course it is easier to stuff them inside your bag. Would you stuff a fresh fish into your backpack?

At least the ED of Zero Waste is practical:

rubbish 2

And FairPrice’s CEO is compassionate:

rubbish 3

Since there are so many considerations, it’s no wonder why the supermarket chains have not come to a consensus. They seem to say: you do, then I do. If not, I don’t want to lose the competitive advantage (of letting customers use plastic bags for free).

So, why the hurry to push through the full deal? How about something in between – first plastic bag is free while charges will start from second bag onwards?  Those who need that one plastic bag will still get it, those who don’t necessarily need will (hopefully) reject the free first bag and those who want more will have to pay for it.

I think my mum, who is close to 80, will be pleased to know if she can continue to get her free NTUC plastic bags, though in reduced quantity, and still be aware of the environmentally friendly message behind this move.