Let's strive for First World eco-consciousness

It was reported that the Government is seeking views from Singaporeans on green issues ("Have a say in tackling green challenges"; Jan 8).

Much as we have progressed to become a First World country in 50 years, our level of environmental consciousness is in need of improvement.

Many Singaporeans still litter and this occurs rampantly at carparks, parks, bus stops and other public spaces.

It is regrettable that such habits and mindsets still exist in a First World country.

Worse, the eyesore caused by litter is an embarrassment to our country.

Another green challenge that needs to be overcome is Singaporeans' lack of a recycling culture.

Unfortunately, the majority of people here do not make an effort to separate their recyclables from their other trash.

Unlike the Koreans, Taiwanese and Japanese, for whom recycling is the default practice, we still have a long way to go in this area.

Finally, a practice which is uniquely Singaporean is our wanton waste of plastic bags.

Despite efforts to encourage shoppers to take along their own shopping bags, it is only the minority who really do so when shopping.

Even our neighbouring countries have introduced "no plastic bag" days to nudge shoppers towards taking along their own shopping bags.

In tackling green challenges, the Government must mandate unpopular policies for the benefit of Singaporeans and mankind.

Lee Yong Se