Rethink schemes to cut plastic bag use

Despite years of effort, schemes to get people to take along their own bags when shopping, and making customers pay for plastic bags on certain days, have not achieved the intended effect.

The low penalty is not enough to motivate customers to use fewer plastic bags.

Singapore should follow the Taipei model, where plastic bags are not provided at supermarkets and other shops, creating an impetus for people to take along their own bags.

Singaporeans commonly say that they use supermarket plastic bags as trash bags.

These trash bags should be replaced by specialised city-approved bags.

These bags will not only provide the correct channel for trash disposal, but will also help people track their trash generation.

This will create more awareness and help increase the use of reusable shopping bags, while cutting down on trash.

Jin Zhi Yan (Miss), 19,
First-year university student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2015, with the headline 'Rethink schemes to cut plastic bag use'. Print Edition | Subscribe