Do we need that plastic bag? [News]

April 28, 2012 by  
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By Grace Chua, The Straits Times, 28 Apr 2012.

A few days ago, I found myself in the curious position of having no plastic bags left in the house, and needing to take out the trash.

That meant going to the supermarket and buying something that I was going to buy anyway, like a bunch of bananas, in order to get a bag to line my bin with.

Earlier this week, the Singapore Environment Council proposed that supermarkets, food outlets and provision shops start charging for plastic bags.

A flurry of letters to the press ensued, some arguing this would be too much of a burden, others calling it too little.

Like many others, I have a love-hate relationship with plastic bags.

Making and distributing them takes fossil fuels, and they do not break down in landfills or the ocean. A plastic bag, fluttering vacantly in the wind, is an easily demonised symbol for fossil fuel and resource consumption.

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Plastic bag production ‘an environmental worry’ [News]

April 27, 2012 by  
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By Lee Jia Xin and Goh Shi Ting, The Straits Times, 27 Apr 2012.

Plastic bag production in Singapore has been singled out as an environmental worry because of the amount of crude oil it uses.

About 1.2kg of the precious resource goes into every kilogram of bags manufactured, according to a study by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research. Another problem is the amount of carbon dioxide released during the process, which contributes to global warming.

Overall, this kind of production is a cause for concern, the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) told The Straits Times.

Last year, Singaporeans used about three billion plastic bags, which consume roughly 37 million kg of crude oil and 12 million kg of natural gas. SEC executive director Jose Raymond said it was focusing on reducing the number of bags wasted in Singapore, calling it a ‘troubling symptom of our shift towards a throwaway culture’.

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Recycling has its rewards [News]

April 23, 2012 by  
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By Amanda Lee, Today, 23 Apr 2012.

More recyclable material has been collected from Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats and landed properties, according to the country’s first online recycling rewards programme.

The programme, called Grow your Recycling Incentives Now, was launched in June in landed properties in Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency (GRC) and parts of Jalan Besar GRC by Veolia Environmental Services.

The programme was rolled out a month later in HDB estates in Tampines, Pasir Ris and Changi Simei, as well as in landed properties in Pasir Ris and Changi Simei.

Residents can earn redemption points for every kilogram of recyclable material collected, which can be used to redeem for retail privileges or be donated to support charitable causes.

According to Veolia Environmental Services, the amount of recyclable material collected from the HDB flats grew by over four times, from 90 tonnes in July to 365 tonnes in January.

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Source: Today

Supermarts may start charging for plastic bags [News]

April 23, 2012 by  
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By Lee Jia Xin, The Straits Times, 23 Apr 2012.

Shoppers may need to pay for plastic bags in the future, if a proposal being studied is adopted.

The Singapore Environment Council (SEC) is studying ways to cut down on the excessive use of plastic bags here.

One of the options being considered is for supermarkets to start charging for plastic bags daily or on alternate days, The Straits Times has learnt.

The proposal involves provision shops too, and may also include food outlets and hawker stalls.

The study, which began this month, is expected to be concluded by June.

The findings are expected to be used to formulate a White Paper on the use of plastic bags in Singapore.

The SEC is a non-government organisation that facilitates and coordinates environmental causes here.

The Straits Times understands that a majority of the supermarkets here are not opposed to the idea of charging for plastic bags. But they would like to see the authorities put it into legislation before making such a move.

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Exchange your used books at Book Exchange 2012 [News]

April 13, 2012 by  
Filed under News

By Channel NewsAsia, 12 Apr 2012.

From April 13 to 27, book lovers can participate in the annual National Library Board book exchange by dropping off their used books at any of the 24 public libraries.

The event allows the public to share their passion for reading with other Singaporeans, and to give used reads a new lease of life.

A coupon will be given for every book and can be used to exchange for other books at the main event on April 28.

Adults’ and children’s fiction and non-fiction books in the four official languages are accepted.

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Source: Channel NewsAsia

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