Every little effort makes a difference to environment

FairPrice will charge 10 cents or 20 cents per transaction for plastic bags at seven FairPrice and Cheers outlets, and the money will be donated to charity.
FairPrice will charge 10 cents or 20 cents per transaction for plastic bags at seven FairPrice and Cheers outlets, and the money will be donated to charity.ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

I am glad that FairPrice is moving to reduce plastic bag usage, but it may not be as effective a measure as some customers may feel entitled to more bags since they are paying for them (Plastic bag fee at some FairPrice outlets, Sept 5).

A better solution would be to provide one free plastic bag per transaction, and charge for each additional bag. Discounts given to those who take along their own bags would also probably motivate people to do so.

The argument is often made that we need plastic bags to bag our trash, but if we segregate wet waste from dry waste, we will require half as many bags as we are using now.

I have patronised stores where customers can fill up their own containers with detergent and selected provisions. But I don't see myself continuing to do so as the prices are exorbitant. Being eco-friendly is commendable, but ultimately it comes down to dollars and cents. If such stores sell products at prices comparable to those of supermarket brands, I would certainly revert to refilling my containers.

We are fortunate to have recycling bins in our housing estates. However, I strongly feel that these should be segregated to prevent contamination.

The relevant authorities should do more to educate the public on the right way to dispose of garbage, by highlighting what can and cannot be recycled, reducing the need for plastic bags.

Providing a compost bin in all Housing Board blocks and condominiums should be the ultimate goal, but if the public is not educated on what such bins are for, they may end up collecting trash that cannot be used for compost.

Ultimately, we as individuals should try whatever is within our means to help the environment, as every little effort makes a difference.

Rathi M

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 10, 2019, with the headline 'Every little effort makes a difference to environment'. Print Edition | Subscribe