Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Why Singaporeans use more Plastic Bags

Singaporeans use about 2.5 billion plastic bags a year. Very much more than any country in the world. Why? Let me analyse:

1) Singaporeans get groceries on ad-hoc basis usually after a day of work. They do not bring their own bag to office everyday.
- Other countries usually do their grocery shopping outside city and on planned basis, eg. once a week

2) Many Singaporeans do not drive due to the populated density. They lacks a place to put their own bags.

3) Singaporeans find plastic bags very useful and do not mind having more. They use them to store rubbish then throw away into their chutes.
- Other countries use rubbish bin outside their house and someone will come to collect. Rubbish bin uses only one big black bag

4) Singaporeans get their bags for free and there are no legislation to restrict usage.
- Some countries charges 5-20cents for each bag. Consumers will think of ways to reduce buying more bags.

NEA with several agencies are currently running some events to encourage reduced usage of plastic bags. I don't think it will succeed until the day government legislate and make consumers pay for the bags.

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