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Letter to the Editor | Mandatory 5 cents per plastic bag when shopping will create unhygienic environment – Singapore News

Free plastic bags used by people to dispose of rubbish have kept HDB estates clean

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Dear Editor,

Very soon it will be mandatory for customers to pay 5 cents per plastic bag when shopping at NTUC FairPrice and other outlets.

But have the policymakers thought of the ripple effect?The Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, Dr Amy Khor, said in Parliament the purpose of this levy per plastic bag is to change the mindset of consumers and make Singapore eco-friendly.I beg to differ, speaking from the perspective of an HDB dweller.Has the minister ever wondered why there is minimal damage to the environment in HDB estates?Every HDB apartment, on every floor, has a common rubbish chute.The NEA has from the onset advised HDB occupants to tie their rubbish in plastic bags and then dispose of it in the common rubbish chute.HDB dwellers have since then dutifully and faithfully complied with the advice and this has resulted in cleanliness and good hygiene.When no plastic bags are readily available; there will be no guarantee of HDB common rubbish chutes being free of rubbish and food waste. This will add a burden to the workload of town council cleaners.Perhaps, the upcoming policy of not providing free plastic bags to customers of grocery stores like NTUC FairPrice could be fine-tuned. Perhaps, one plastic bag could be provided for $20 spent and one each thereafter for every $10 spent. Those who spend $100 or more per visit could be given a maximum of 10 plastic bags.My family and many HDB dwellers will vouch that the plastic bags provided will not contribute to uncleanliness and an unhygienic environment. An unhygienic environment will cause unnecessary strain on our health services with the emergence of new viruses and diseases.I urge the relevant ministries when formulating new policies to look into ripple effects on the environment at large. New policies must be objective, not subjective: long-term, not short-term.Paul Antony Fernandez


The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of The Independent Singapore.


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