FairPrice's 'no plastic bag' initiative extended for another year following positive response

The $600,000 in plastic bag charges collected in the past year will be donated to environmental and community causes.
The $600,000 in plastic bag charges collected in the past year will be donated to environmental and community causes.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - FairPrice will extend its "no plastic bag" initiative for a year from Thursday (Nov 12) following positive responses from customers, the supermarket giant said on Wednesday.

A total of 15.6 million plastic bags were saved since the initiative began last November with 25 outlets on board, FairPrice said.

Customers at these outlets who required bags could purchase them at 20 cents for each transaction at FairPrice, FairPrice Finest and FairPrice Xtra supermarkets, or at 10 cents for each transaction at Cheers and FairPrice Xpress convenience stores.

"About seven in 10 customers who shopped at participating supermarkets chose to bring their own bags or refused plastic bags, while close to nine in 10 customers did the same at convenience stores," said FairPrice.

The $600,000 in plastic bag charges collected in the past year will be donated to environmental and community causes.

"The significant number of plastic bags saved in this short span of one year is a testimony of the greater public awareness for the environment," said FairPrice group chief executive Seah Kian Peng.

From Thursday, there will be 11 FairPrice, FairPrice Finest and FairPrice Xtra supermarkets, 12 Cheers stores and one FairPrice Xpress store taking part.

FairPrice added it is the only supermarket chain here which imposes a plastic bag charge.

However, other supermarket chains have also launched their own initiatives to reduce the usage of plastic bags.

A spokesman from the Dairy Farm Group, which operates Cold Storage and Giant, said on Wednesday: "Through a number of ongoing initiatives, we have seen a reduction in the use of plastic bags across our stores. Over the last year the number of bags has dropped by about 15 per cent."

In July last year, eight supermarket outlets - two of each from Cold Storage, FairPrice, Prime Supermarket and Sheng Siong - placed donation bins in their vicinities to collect unused reusable bags from patrons.

After ensuring they were in good condition, these outlets redistributed the bags collected for shoppers' use.