Use our own containers for takeaway food

It is definitely a good idea to move away from using styrofoam containers ("Polystyrene foam containers harmful to environment" by Mr Heng Cho Choon; last Sunday).

Apart from the points raised about styrene being a carcinogen, there is also the problem of waste.

Styrofoam is said to take at least hundreds of years to decompose, and is frequently disposed of in waterways and the seas, leading to mortal risk for marine animals and pollution in the seas and oceans.

It is also a huge source of one-time waste since people do not take the time and effort to wash and reuse styrofoam containers.

Mr Heng and Mr Teo Kok Seah ("Bring back use of leaves for packing food"; Sept 13) have suggested using a certain type of leaves, which are natural and non- carcinogenic, to pack food with.

There is another way. We should instil the practice of taking along with us our own Tupperware or other reusable containers, to reduce the need to use styrofoam containers to pack food in.

Few people do this, perhaps because of the extra effort needed to prepare a container for such purposes. But this is a much more environmentally friendly and cost-friendly practice.

A reusable food container can be used for several years, and relieves us of much waste generated in the production and disposal of styrofoam boxes. And there is no need to pay 20 to 30 cents for each container hawkers provide.

Perhaps the National Environment Agency could do more to encourage a sustainable, environmentally friendly way for people to pack takeaway food.

Jin Zhi Yan (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 27, 2015, with the headline 'Use our own containers for takeaway food'. Print Edition | Subscribe