Educate, shame, punish offenders

Supermarkets may not be taking firm enough action against shoppers who take home or abandon their trolleys and baskets for two reasons ("Going the distance for missing trolleys"; Jan 31).

They may not want to offend customers, and losses arising from missing trolleys and baskets may already have been factored into operating costs.

Educating the public will be one way to stem the problem of abandoned supermarket trolleys.

Perhaps the public should exert social pressure and look on such people as pariahs for a start.

Schools can also play their part.

Teach schoolchildren to tell their parents that it is wrong to take home supermarket trolleys and baskets.

An alternative is for supermarkets to treat the non-return of trolleys and baskets as theft and act according to the law. A few cases prosecuted in court can serve to deter others from committing the offence.

Hopefully, the above measures can stem the loss of supermarket trolleys and baskets.

Customers may then be the ones to benefit as supermarkets' operating costs will be lowered.

Soh Ah Yuen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 08, 2016, with the headline 'Educate, shame, punish offenders'. Print Edition | Subscribe