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Thread: plastic bags problems

  1. #1
    Senior Member denniskee's Avatar
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    Default plastic bags problems

    Chinese radio mentioned Singapore used billions of plastic bags a year, (not sure if this is recommended by the female DJs or who) maybe should start charging $0.10 per bags on Saturday n Sundays.

    Question :

    1) All items sold in any shop had already factor in cost of plastic bags, so they can make extra profit from this which is something like a Fine, but who gave this authority to them? Is it legal?

    2) I believe most if shopping plastic bags r reused as rubbish bag at home. So if I don't use these plastic bags, I must buy trash bags, which is also consider in the figures they quoted. So how does that help?

    No wonder Singapore is known to be a FINE country, 1st idea to comes to mind is Fine. Easiest way n the most profitable way.
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

  2. #2

    Default Re: plastic bags problems

    If remember correctly, NTUC had done that before. On certain day of the week, extra 10cent if need plastic bag. But feedback isn't good, think now instead they give u discount instead if use your own bag.
    Ikea also dun give free plastic bag.
    In some countries, they dun give plastic bag when buy things from them. Or they use paper bag. Went Taiwan before some shops dun give out plastic bag.

    And heard before, actually not good to use normal plastic bag as trash bag. As normal plastic are not biodegradable.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Default Re: plastic bags problems

    What we want to encourage is a creative way to recycle using the plastic bags:


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    Default Re: plastic bags problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Sion View Post
    What we want to encourage is a creative way to recycle using the plastic bags:

    LOL, that is cool

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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: plastic bags problems

    good to see most people are more green conscious now.

    I have collected a few cartons of plastic bags in my store room over the years, we simply can't use that many bags at all.

    We started to use our own non-woven bags for our grocery shopping for a few years, try to cut down the using of plastic bags.
    and I always ask not to use plastic bag when I buy some items, simply put those item in my bags that I being.

    most plastic bags are make of biodegradable material nowadays, you can't keep them for too long anyway, so it is safe to use as trash bags.
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    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Default Re: plastic bags problems

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    good to see most people are more green conscious now.

    I have collected a few cartons of plastic bags in my store room over the years, we simply can't use that many bags at all.

    We started to use our own non-woven bags for our grocery shopping for a few years, try to cut down the using of plastic bags.
    and I always ask not to use plastic bag when I buy some items, simply put those item in my bags that I being.

    most plastic bags are make of biodegradable material nowadays, you can't keep them for too long anyway, so it is safe to use as trash bags.
    Why not carry a big plastic basket from home like the aunties do?


  7. #7

    Default Re: plastic bags problems

    Quote Originally Posted by denniskee View Post
    ...not sure if this is recommended by the female DJs or who
    Looks like it was the SEC. http://www.todayonline.com/singapore...-bags-weekends

    Quote Originally Posted by denniskee View Post
    No wonder Singapore is known to be a FINE country, 1st idea to comes to mind is Fine. Easiest way n the most profitable way.
    Nah, just following in Ireland's footsteps.

    The Republic of Ireland introduced a €0.15 tax in March 2002. Levied on consumers at the point of sale, this led to 90% of consumers using long-life bags within a year. The tax was increased to €0.22 in 2007. The revenue is put into an Environment Fund.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase-o...t_plastic_bags

  8. #8
    Senior Member denniskee's Avatar
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    Default Re: plastic bags problems

    Sorry I don't see how, by not giving the plastic bags on weekends, cut down the total plastic used in Singapore. Most of us uses the shopping bags as trash bags for the waste basket at home. So if we don't have enough plastic bags, we will biy black trash bags. Isn't thay the same? Most if not all shoppong plastic bags nowadays are bio-degradable.

    I only sees the shops benefiting from the charges of $0.10 for a plastic bags durimg weekends. How does mother earth benefit from this?
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

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    Member Bukitimah's Avatar
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    Default

    I don't remember we have plastic bags in the fifties. Rattan basket and paper bags are common. However, we should also not totally stop the use of plastic bags but moderation.

    Our trash are not land fill but burnt so not that bad I hope. The billions of plastic bags sound a lot but compare to other plastic waste, it is. a fraction. Just like everyone is talking about switching off lights or energy saving lights. The killer is aircon and we are cooling the streets and wearing winter coat in the offices!

  10. #10
    Senior Member denniskee's Avatar
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    Default Re: plastic bags problems

    Yes I agree with the aircond in some office, cinema or evet at home are simply set too low, till people have to put on extra jacket or covering with thick blanket while sleeping. Some of my German friends remarks that Singapore is colder than their country till they have to put on jackets.

    For office, I understand its central control, so while certain area needs to be cold, others don't but there isn't much they can do, shutting or blocking the air outlets makes it stuffy, so though it may seems like a solution with not cost involved, it is actually not good.

    But those in the houses I don't understand. The aircond are split units, each room controls their own temperature, why people likes to set it so low that they have to use thick blanket is beyond me.
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

  11. #11
    Senior Member denniskee's Avatar
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    Default Re: plastic bags problems

    Another big wastage of electrical energy I see is electric thermal kettle to keep water hot, why less n less people uses those glass thermal flask?

    Dryer for the clothing. Where we enjoy sunny weather most uear round, why not use the free energy?
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

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    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: plastic bags problems

    Quote Originally Posted by denniskee View Post
    Chinese radio mentioned Singapore used billions of plastic bags a year, (not sure if this is recommended by the female DJs or who) maybe should start charging $0.10 per bags on Saturday n Sundays.
    A lot of other countries practise this policy. France, for example.

    Trash bags and profit aside, the idea is to make people think twice before getting the bag.

  13. #13
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: plastic bags problems

    Quote Originally Posted by denniskee View Post
    Sorry I don't see how, by not giving the plastic bags on weekends, cut down the total plastic used in Singapore. Most of us uses the shopping bags as trash bags for the waste basket at home. So if we don't have enough plastic bags, we will biy black trash bags. Isn't thay the same? Most if not all shoppong plastic bags nowadays are bio-degradable.

    I only sees the shops benefiting from the charges of $0.10 for a plastic bags durimg weekends. How does mother earth benefit from this?
    Not everyone is you.

    There are people who take the plastic bag home, throw it away, and still use the black trash bags.

  14. #14
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: plastic bags problems

    I collected more plastic bags from grocery shopping than I able to recycle them as trash bags, even I bring my own grocery bags.

    I know people simply just throw away those plastic bags, as they are too lazy to organize and keep them.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: plastic bags problems

    Imo, Singaporeans, are generally apathetic on this as with most big issues.
    Its somebodies problem and not theirs.

    There has been very little success in pushing for a reduced use of plastic bags.
    From my observations, many take it as their right to get them, since thet have spent money there. (Heartlands)

    There was a move to use grocery bags, but it end up that these became the new 'plastic bags'.

    However, I have read claims that since we burn most of our trash, plastic bags are not much of a real issue in sgp.
    Not sure if it was garmen pulling the socking over my eyes about this though.

    I just do my part as comfortably as I can.
    Make sure plastic bags I get are used for a 2nd use before being discarded. (EG. As rubbuish bin bag)
    Don't take small bags that can't have 2nd use.
    Don't take bags if I got a bag to put things or going to consume right away.
    Last edited by pinholecam; 2nd October 2013 at 10:20 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: plastic bags problems

    I use plastic bags for practical hygiene reasons.
    I wonder how many washed their reusable bags.

    Excerpts -

    Reusable Shopping Bags: Green But Unclean

    The study, “Assessment of the Potential for Cross Contamination of Food Products by Reusable Shopping Bags,” found that nearly all (97%) of shoppers who use reusable bags do not regularly (if ever) clean them. Furthermore, most of us freely mix meats, vegetables, and other foods in the same bag, and don’t think twice about it.

    According to the study, “Reusable bags, if not properly washed between uses, create the potential for cross-contamination of foods. This potential exists when raw meat products and foods traditionally eaten uncooked (fruits and vegetables) are carried in the same bags, either together or between uses. This risk can be increased by the growth of bacteria in the bags.”

    Indeed, half of the bags that researchers examined tested positive for coliform bacteria, and 12 percent had E. coli bacteria. These bacteria, and others, contribute to the 76 million cases of food poisoning each year.

    Source - http://news.discovery.com/human/heal...ut-unclean.htm

  17. #17
    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: plastic bags problems

    I've always been asked by china friends and colleagues to bring used paper shopping bags that are still in great condition to China .... eg Takashimaya, Robinsons, Isetan, LV, Chanel, Prada, Burberry, Nautica, Zara, Ritz Carlton, St Regis, Swatch, Raoul, Leica, Harrods, JC Penny, Timberland, Universal Studio, Singapore Zoo, DFS etc etc etc .... especially the BIG heavy duty ones .... new status symbol ha ha

    SOP everywhere in China now is to bring your own backpack or shopping bag when going out otherwise 0.1 to 0.5rmb for each plastic bag
    Last edited by ed9119; 2nd October 2013 at 11:26 AM.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: plastic bags problems

    Quote Originally Posted by kklee View Post
    Excerpts -

    Reusable Shopping Bags: Green But Unclean

    The study, “Assessment of the Potential for Cross Contamination of Food Products by Reusable Shopping Bags,” found that nearly all (97%) of shoppers who use reusable bags do not regularly (if ever) clean them. Furthermore, most of us freely mix meats, vegetables, and other foods in the same bag, and don’t think twice about it.
    Hygiene is a concern for me too, but after reading more about the sample size and study sponsor, I'd take it with a pinch of salt.
    Disposable bags do have their place. It's something to take note of, but perhaps not as grim as it was made out to be.

    An old saw in the news business is “consider the source” – in other words, take into account not just what you’re hearing, but where it comes from. Which is why we’re not so swayed by a recent report about reusable grocery bags and their potential to make you sick.

    The report came out of the University of Arizona, Tucson and Loma Linda University in California. Smack on page one is this note: “The authors would like to acknowledge and thank the American Chemistry Council for providing funding to support this study.”

    The American Chemistry Council is the trade group that advocates on behalf of plastic-bag manufacturers. Now why would the folks who make plastic grocery bags want to cast doubts on the safety of reusable grocery bags? Oh, right.

    And it worked, sort of. The way it played in the media was that reusable grocery bags may be good for the environment, but you’re taking your health in your hands every time you, you know, reuse one, because the bags can harbor e coli and other bacteria.

    That soundbite was based on the report’s analysis of 84 reusable grocery bags collected in California and Arizona. Yup, just 84. We have a colleague who grew up with 10 sisters and brothers. A single weekly shopping trip for his family could easily net 20 bags of groceries, so 84 doesn’t really seem like an adequate sample size for a scientific study.

    The researchers tested for pathogenic bacteria Salmonella and Listeria, but didn’t find any, nor did they find strains of E. coli that could make one sick. They only found bacteria that don’t normally cause disease, but do cause disease in people with weakened immune systems.

    Our food-safety experts were underwhelmed as well. “A person eating an average bag of salad greens gets more exposure to these bacteria than if they had licked the insides of the dirtiest bag from this study,” says Michael Hansen, senior staff scientist at Consumers Union. “These bacteria can be found lots of places, so no need to go overboard.”

    But Hansen notes that there are some reminders to take away from the study. It’s easy to spread bacteria from meat, fish, or poultry to other foods – in your kitchen or in your grocery bags. So we do think it’s wise to carry those items in disposable bags. Reusable bags are fine for most everything else, but it’s a good idea to wash them occasionally.

    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/n...oney/index.htm

  19. #19

    Default Re: plastic bags problems

    I'd encourage those interested in this subject to check out SEC's position paper. It helps to understand the process behind their recommendations. The news outlets that covered it seem to just latch onto the 'charging for bags on weekends' recommendation, and makes it sound like the SEC is calling for this out of nowhere – perhaps leading to knee-jerk reactions from some, but there's more to it. I skimmed through it and found it quite informative about our local context. There are quite a lot of details that can inform our discussion here.

    Identifying and mitigating the wastage and inefficient use of plastic bags in Singapore
    A position paper by the Singapore Environment Council

    This paper analyses patterns of plastic bag use in Singapore using data gathered from quantitative and qualitative
    research. An approximation of the percentage and type of plastic bag use that can be considered wasteful is
    derived from this research, and a broad range of recommendations is made to mitigate the wasteful use of plastic
    bags in Singapore. These recommendations are targeted at policy makers, retailers, educators, and members of
    the public.

    http://www.sec.org.sg/publication/SE..._Singapore.pdf
    Here are screenshots of the Foreword and Executive Summary so you guys can figure out if it's worth reading.








  20. #20
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: plastic bags problems

    Quote Originally Posted by kklee View Post
    I use plastic bags for practical hygiene reasons.
    I wonder how many washed their reusable bags.

    Excerpts -

    Reusable Shopping Bags: Green But Unclean

    The study, “Assessment of the Potential for Cross Contamination of Food Products by Reusable Shopping Bags,” found that nearly all (97%) of shoppers who use reusable bags do not regularly (if ever) clean them. Furthermore, most of us freely mix meats, vegetables, and other foods in the same bag, and don’t think twice about it.

    According to the study, “Reusable bags, if not properly washed between uses, create the potential for cross-contamination of foods. This potential exists when raw meat products and foods traditionally eaten uncooked (fruits and vegetables) are carried in the same bags, either together or between uses. This risk can be increased by the growth of bacteria in the bags.”

    Indeed, half of the bags that researchers examined tested positive for coliform bacteria, and 12 percent had E. coli bacteria. These bacteria, and others, contribute to the 76 million cases of food poisoning each year.

    Source - http://news.discovery.com/human/heal...ut-unclean.htm
    So you eat your food raw as it comes out of the bag? The answer is in the last paragraph:
    Fortunately the answer is simple, and the same one that has saved countless lives over the centuries: wash your hands, wash your food, and wash your bags. The researchers found that over 99% of the bacteria were eliminated after either hand washing or a bout washing machine. Be green, but be clean.
    EOS

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