Saturday, November 24, 2012

Banning Plastic Bags

Delhi, India is enforcing a ban on the use of plastic bag, due to environmental issue generated by 250,000 tons of plastic waste annually. They have tried unsuccessfully to do so before in 2009. Let us hope they will meet with success this time.

Then, Delhi will become a shinning example for the rest of the world major cities to follow.

In S'pore, plastic bags are given out generously by all shops. In many instances, it is not necessary to bag the item purchase, but all shop assistants will automatically put the item in a plastic carrier. We have become a city of plastic bag culture.

Supermarkets are one of the main culprits, as they are extremely generous when it comes to the use of plastic carriers. They will double and even triple bag groceries. When customers ask for more bags (for personal use), the cashiers willingly oblige.

The only retailer that walk the talk on environmental issue is IKEA. They have successfully 'trained' their customers bring their own bags.  Customers will be charge a nominal fee for plastic carrier if they don't.

In fact some supermarkets give a token discount to customers who bring their own carriers. However, the outcome is pathetic.

They just don't get it - it is human psychology that we don't like to be charged for carrier bags. It 'hurts' more to pay for them no matter how small the amount is. The token reward does not entice consumers to make the effort to bring their own carriers.

If only our supermarkets will do as IKEA does, our plastic bags culture will change for the better.

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