Issue of marine pollution getting more urgent

It may not be easy or cost-efficient for corporations to take up green initiatives, as consumers might not be comfortable with the sudden change.

However, we must begin looking towards how we can cut down on our plastic usage in Singapore, and a direct approach is for companies to stop providing single-use plastics.

I was recently involved in the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore this year and saw first-hand how plastic waste can get into the ocean if not properly managed, or if we do not reduce our use of them. Among the items collected were 1,345 straws and stirrers within two hours in a 100m stretch of beach.

Single-use plastics contribute to marine pollution, which affects marine life, and can enter our food chain.

The example of Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), which has stopped providing single-use plastic straws at its attractions and eateries, is also telling of how Singapore as a nation is striving towards environmental conservation and reduction of waste (RWS stops providing single-use plastic straws at attractions, eateries; Oct 30). This complements Singapore's efforts in becoming a zero-waste nation.

Conservation does not end after the banning of straws. We must continue looking into other areas where we can reduce plastic waste.

Therefore, RWS' decision to also look into reducing the use of disposable water bottles is a step in the right direction.

Perhaps RWS can also look towards collaborating with civil society groups that target the reduction of single-use plastics in Singapore. This could possibly help make conservation efforts more effective nationwide.

The Government must decide if legislation to ban single-use plastics here is feasible, following the recent vote for a complete ban on a range of single-use plastics across the European Union.

While the current stance is to take a long-term approach to build national consciousness, we can also take cues from how other nations are managing their plastic waste as the problem of marine pollution appears to be getting more urgent.

Merrick Ho Yong Jin

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