Voices Of Youth

Cut down on use of plastic straws

In the light of Taiwan's plan to ban single-use plastic items by 2030, there is more that Singapore can do to reduce the use of plastic, especially plastic straws (Taiwan to ban disposable plastic items by 2030; ST Online, Feb 22).

Plastic straws are frequently used in a large number of eateries, and environmental experts have described Singapore's straw usage to be excessive.

While incentives for customers to bring their own bags, bottles and containers are common, measures to reduce the use of plastic straws are not (Discounts and free food for bringing your own bag, bottle or containers at 14 retailers; ST Online, Aug 31, 2017).

To reduce their carbon footprint, eateries could provide discounts to customers who bring their own reusable straws, sell straws separately to discourage plastic straw usage, switch to using reusable straws or eliminate straw usage altogether.

However, it is heartening to see some initiatives here in Singapore to address this problem, such as social enterprise Seastainable, which sells metal straws.

I urge others to follow in the footsteps of these individuals so that, as a community, we can move towards a more environmentally friendly society.

Ong Li Ying, 19

Undergraduate Year 1

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2018, with the headline 'Cut down on use of plastic straws'. Print Edition | Subscribe