Be careful green habits don't add to waste

I was extremely pleased to read about Singapore's first foodcourt that is free of plastic straws (No plastic straws at this food court; April 1).

As sustainable living increasingly gains hype, more consumers are switching to eco-friendly straws, cutlery sets and tumblers.

Some might jump on the bandwagon because people around them are purchasing such items.

This may raise eco-awareness. However, it is essential to ensure that this behaviour does not lead to excess consumption and, hence, more waste.

For example, people may buy metal cutlery sets and containers to reduce their use of disposable plastics.

But, in all honesty, do they really need to make such purchases? I am sure most of us have metal cutlery and simple lunchboxes at home.

There is no need to buy new items that are labelled eco-friendly.

The whole point of promoting eco-friendly products is to encourage people to reduce waste.

Hence, instead of blindly relying on such products, consumers must do their homework and take their own steps to cut waste.

In addition, more food and beverage outlets can join in the fight by allowing customers to use their own cups and tumblers, as well as providing discounts.

While it may seem that a disposable straw will not make a difference, it has been reported that we will have more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050.

Using one less straw a day might make a large impact if more of us do it.

Sam Xin Qian (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 10, 2018, with the headline 'Be careful green habits don't add to waste'. Print Edition | Subscribe