Forum: Better to give discount for using reusables in addition to plastic bag charge

The authorities should be cautious in implementing the proposal to charge shoppers at supermarkets five cents for each plastic bag they take (Most supermarkets to charge at least 5 cents per disposable bag from mid-2023, March 8).

If the charge is five cents, that may not be a sufficient deterrent to control usage, and supermarkets cannot deny shoppers who are prepared to pay for more bags.

The move could end up having the opposite effect of what we hope to see by charging for the plastic bags.

I suggest that in addition to charging five cents a bag, supermarkets also give a small discount (say, 2 per cent or 3 per cent) to those who use their own reusable bags or containers.

Such a discount would gradually entice more shoppers to give up paying for plastic bags, and to use their own bags to carry their groceries.

Pavithran Vidyadharan

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