Changing people's mindset vital to cut plastic use

I read with delight that Singapore now has its first foodcourt that is free of plastic straws (No plastic straws at this food court; ST Online, April 1).

Hopefully, more foodcourts will step up and adopt such eco-friendly initiatives.

On top of environmental conservation, reducing plastic usage can help to improve brand image and lower costs for businesses and consumers.

But, I believe that consumers also have a part to play.

For instance, they could take their own tumblers to eateries, to avoid using disposable cups.

The real challenge, in my opinion, is changing people's mindset.

This would require efforts to increase environmental awareness at national, institutional and individual levels.

For instance, students can be taught environmentally friendly habits in civics and moral education classes.

Only a heart that cares for the environment can motivate individuals to go the extra mile to adopt a greener lifestyle.

Total avoidance of plastic is not always feasible, but we can reconsider using plastic unless it is truly necessary.

Lee Jia Xun

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2018, with the headline 'Changing people's mindset vital to cut plastic use'. Print Edition | Subscribe