Wednesday, April 21, 2010

S'pore Mega/Super Markets should do more for the Green Movement

22 April is Earth Day. How many companies in Singapore are serious in environmental protection ? For example, it has been some years since the Green Movement started and so far the only company that walk the talk is IKEA. If NTUC Fairprice, Giant, Shop N Save.....and other Mega/Supermarkets do their part, alot could be done in the area of reduce and reuse of environmentally unfriendly plastic bags.

Recycle may not possible as those plastic carriers are not made of recycable plastic. The worst part is they are not biodegradable. Whether they are disposed of by incineration or landfilled they still posed an environmental problem. When they landed up in the sea, they are known to be a hazard to marine life, which either swallow it or get entangle in it.

Members of public is also guilty as they want the convenient of not bring their own bags. They give the excuse that they could reuse the bag for bagging other stuff at home. But the point is the most important part of the 3Rs in the conservation equation is REDUCE. This could only be achieved if folks make an effort to bring their own carriers.

All the major Mega/Super Markets should exercise their social responsibility and just don't give lip service to environmental protection. Start charging consumers for every bag issued. The token sum collect, which I forsee would be substantial initially could be donated to support an environmental cause. Once it becomes a social habit to bring along your own shopping bag, then the companies could reap the reward of saving in expenses for purchasing plastic bags.

In fact, in the past housewives bring along their basket and bags when they go marketing. Nowadays, folks go marketing and shopping 'empty handed' and come up with their hands 'full of bags'. I have seen some asking for extra bags, double layer bags...etc. Then supermaket staff are so professional they segregate the items into different bags - issuing more bags than necessary. For example, a can of pet food will be place in a different bag. I agree that perishable items such as vegetable and food stuff should be bagged separately. But things in a container can be bagged together (eg can food for human and pets).

Singaporeans are very practical - charge them for shopping bags and they will remember to bring their own.

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