Greening Up by Cutting Down on Plastic Bags-New York Times
Facts about Plastic Bags
- About 2.5 billion plastic shopping bags are used every year. That’s about 2,500 bags used per family per year.
- Plastic bags thrown away as litter, dirty our public places, rivers and canals, and may even clog up drains, and this would lead to stagnant water and mosquito breeding.
- Plastic bags litter despoils nature trails, beaches and even chokes up mangroves and poses a threat to marine lives.
- If each family uses one less plastic bag a week, Singapore could save more than 50 million bags each year.
- Plastic bags are made from oil, a finite resource. By using reusable bags during our shopping trips, we will use fewer plastic bags and help to conserve earth’s resources.
- Plastic bags are not disposed of at Semakau Landfill. They are incinerated, along with other domestic wastes, at our four incineration plants.
- Hence, unlike countries that landfill their waste, the non-biodegradability of plastic bags is not a problem in Singapore.
What we can do?
Here are some of the things we can do to help reduce wastage of plastic bags and conserve resources:
- Always take or ask for just enough plastic bags to carry purchases and no more.
- Better still, buy reusable (available at major supermarkets at low prices) and use them during shopping trips.
- Remember to bring your reusable bags when you go shopping. Say ‘No’ to plastic bags when buying only a few small items.
- Say ‘No’ to plastic bags when the items are packaged with handles (e.g. toilet rolls, rice packet, etc).
- When you need to have the plastic bag, save it for the next trip or use them as waste bin liners.
- When using a plastic bag as waste liner, fully fill the bag before throwing it away wherever possible. Do not throw away excess plastic bags as a trash/waste item. Reuse or recycle them. Encourage your family members, relatives, friends and colleagues to do the same.
Benefits of using reusable bags
In addition to helping the environment, reusable bags are also:
kinder to hands and fingers than plastic carrier bags when filled up and carried as they are better designed for the purpose, can hold twice as many items as conventional plastic carrier bags, have handle straps that can go over the shoulder, leaving both our hands free for other purposes and making it easier for us to carry more, will not burst under the weight of heavy items, and are inexpensive, can be washed and last for years.
Let’s do our part!
As consumers, we have the power to change things by consciously making the switch to reusable bags. Let’s do our part to support a worthy cause and help the environment!