Plastic bottles more pressing issue than bags

A booth with bottles of water at Marina Barrage.
A booth with bottles of water at Marina Barrage.PHOTO: ST FILE

Singaporeans appear to be obsessed with finding a solution to a non-existent problem (Three MPs renew call to charge for use of plastic bags; Impose charges from 3rd plastic bag, by Ms Khong Sow Cheng, Aug 13).

The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources has explained on several occasions that plastic bags are not an immediate environmental problem in Singapore, given the way we dispose of waste.

Plastic bags play an important role in high-rise living. Bagging household refuse before throwing it in the rubbish chute reduces pest infestation. And plastic bags can be and are used as bin liners.

Attention should be diverted to plastic bottles instead.

Given the huge sums that Singapore spends to ensure that tap water is potable, why do we still need so many single-use plastic bottles?

Discarded bottles can be found everywhere, in forests, parks, beaches, roads and drains, endangering our wildlife among other problems.

They are a greater pollutant.

Let us ban single-use water bottles instead.

Victor Alfreds

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 15, 2019, with the headline 'Plastic bottles more pressing issue than bags'. Print Edition | Subscribe