Many Singaporeans do not have their own bags with them when they go shopping. This leads to an excessive use of single-use plastic bags. Some customers even ask for their groceries to be double-bagged when there is no need to. This issue is prevalent in many grocery stores including FairPrice, which prides itself on being green.
FairPrice does charge 20 cents per transaction for shopping bags at selected outlets, but it has not yet taken drastic measures to phase out single-use plastic bags, unlike Ikea. The long queues at Ikea stores show that this small inconvenience has not affected the company's bottom line.
There are other supermarket chains in Singapore which are doing their part in being green.
For example, chains like Prime Supermarket have a "reduced to clear" section where bruised fruit and vegetables or items close to their expiration date are made available to the conscientious shopper. Customers can also buy vegetables by weight, and are not forced to buy pre-packed bags of perishables which can lead to wastage.
We need to change the way we live, work and, most importantly, shop. Our social conscience must trump convenience.
Kayshya Lingesh, 13
Secondary 1 student