Plastic bag production ‘an environmental worry’ [News]

April 27, 2012 by  
Filed under News

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’.

Click here to read the full story.

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Comments

4 Responses to “Plastic bag production ‘an environmental worry’ [News]”
  1. ABC says:

    Incentives…incentives

  2. Marjolein Moreaux says:

    Hello!
    My family and I moved to Singapore one year ago and the over-use of plastic bags struck us immediately! Having lived in Belgium (where you pay for your plastic bags or you use the thick re-usable bags) and in Africa (where people reuse and reuse EVERY bag 3-4 times before they throw it), we were absolutely shocked. Charging for plastic bags has changed the consumer behavior completely in Europe, in less than 10 years, why would that not work in Singapore?
    With the existing trashing system in the apartment blocks in Singapore, I guess some use of plastic bags is necessary in this hot and humid city. You don’t want pests to invade such a densely populated city. And as you show in your article, the thin plastics remain the best ones in that case. But why pack only one item per bag, or use three bags for a liter of milk, or pack a toothbrush in a small bag which then goes in the large bag, or put a box of mints in a bag while you are carrying your handbag? The worst I experienced not long ago is that I invested about an hour making sure all my goods for home delivery were packed in boxes (Giant). By the time the goods arrived at home, they had all been repacked in huge plastic bags that cannot even be used at home for garbage!!
    Education has to tackle both the packers in the shop AND the end-users:
    1) they have to ask whether the client needs a bag (I always have to UNpack my items and give the bag back if I haven’t paid attention) and pack more economically (who cares that the rice is packed together with toothpaste?)
    2) we have to dare to give our excessive bags back and educate the packers at the grocery store.
    Very often on the streets/in the parks of Singapore you see plastic bags that were not re-used. So stop claiming that all the 400 billion plastic bags were re-used in Singapore!
    Marjolein.

  3. Jon says:

    Yes well done Singaporeans..dont all those plastic bags you never needed in the first place look great floating around in the ocean and stuck in trees. It must fill you with national pride to think that annually your combined effort results in 3 billion plastic bags being incinerated.
    It must be really difficult to take a bag with you shopping..how inconvenient to have to take your own bag shopping with you…and horror of horrors, imagine having to put all that food thats already wrapped in plastics in one bag..together…!
    In the U.K a goverment ruling that all plastic bags came with a 10 cent charge and a public education program resulted in plastic bag usage falling by 97% in 3 years.
    Here is a strategy that worked..is it so difficult to follow the same course here.

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