Friday, May 7, 2010

Rebate for those with bags & Charge those without

This letter is written in reply to Howard Shaw, Executive Director, SEC, who still thinks rebate strategy works after all these years of failure to get folks to bring along their own carrier bags for shopping.


For productivity, we should 'Do it right the 1st time'. The bring your own bag campaign has not been met with much success over the years. Would SEC get it right this time round with their rebate strategy?

SEA mentioned that NTUC FairPrice has saved more than 43 million plastic bags since 2007 when the rebate scheme was introduced. What percentage is this compare to the number of bags issued to shoppers over the same period ? Likely the number of bags issues would be a shocking figure many times over the 43 millions.

Besides, SEC has not clarify on the questions raise regarding :

1) Are there are less folks shopping at NTUC on Wed compare to other weekdays ?

2) What is the number of shoppers who bring along their own bag on Wed is less than those who do not ?

These answers to these questions is a good gauge if the current rebate scheme is effective.

Why not learn from success story like Ikea ? If the rebate strategy works, Ikea would not be charging for the carrier bags. Why reinvent the wheel ?

As mentioned before, we know psychologically people are more adverse with parting with their money than being rewarded monetary. The small token sum of rebate will not entice shoppers to bring along their own bag. However, charge them for it, they would not want to pay for something they have been given free for all these years. As suggested before, the rebate collected could be donated to an environmental cause.

Perhaps fine tuning the scheme to rebate for those who bring their own bag and charge those who do not, will meet with more success.

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