Households prefer lining trash bins

Environmental group Zero Waste SG has called on the Government to impose a levy on plastic bags, as a way of reducing their use.

I agree that the number of plastic bags used is shocking.

But does the group know how these bags are used, especially those given out at supermarkets?

These bags are mainly used to line rubbish bins at home. Instead of throwing our rubbish into bare bins and then emptying the contents of these bins into rubbish chutes, we adopt a more hygienic method of collecting our rubbish in a plastic bag before disposing of it in the central rubbish chute.

Groups and individuals who call for a levy on the use of plastic bags need to know the impact on people and on the country if supermarkets stop giving out plastic bags, or if a levy is imposed on their use.

Most importantly, will a levy result in fewer plastic bags being used? I doubt it.

Few people will use their bins without lining them first. If supermarkets stop giving out plastic bags, consumers will just buy garbage bags to line their bins.

This does not reduce the use of plastic bags at all.

Sam Yeow Kah Leong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 23, 2016, with the headline 'Households prefer lining trash bins'. Print Edition | Subscribe