Shops with plastic bag charge could lose out

Will shoppers stop using plastic bags if they are charged? I doubt so (Wield stick to cut plastic use?; Sept 5).

There is no universal practice on how to charge for bags - some retailers may factor the charge into the prices of their items, others may impose an extra charge.

This situation where some retailers are seen to charge while others don't will be confusing to shoppers.

Shops that continue to give free plastic bags will attract more shoppers, while those who don't will lose out.

Customers may even turn to online shopping and have goods delivered to their doorstep.

Britain has been charging shoppers five pence (eight Singapore cents) for a shopping bag since October 2015.

Although there was an initial drop in the use of plastic bags, the figures show that the charge is no longer a deterrent and shoppers have gone back to using plastic bags. The authorities are mulling over raising the charge to one pound.

Will the same thing happen in Singapore?

Francis Cheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2017, with the headline 'Shops with plastic bag charge could lose out'. Print Edition | Subscribe