NEA Proposes Charging 5 To 10 Cents Per Plastic Bag
Many of us are used to getting free plastic bags during our grocery runs. But soon, we might have to get used to paying for them at supermarkets islandwide.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) is now seeking the public’s opinion on a proposed policy for supermarkets to impose a minimum charge for each disposable bag handed out at check-out counters.
From today till 17 Feb, you can share your suggestions with NEA on how they should implement this policy.
NEA asks public about plastic bag charge
After consulting over 1,000 stakeholders through surveys and focus group discussions, NEA has developed details of the proposed disposable carrier bag charge at supermarkets.
The policy is being developed in a bid to discourage excessive consumption of disposable plastic bags while promoting the use of reusable bags.
Now, they are inviting members of the public to share their opinions on the bag charge.
Members of the public can provide feedback based on the following details of the policy:
- Charging model – to ensure the charge amount paid is proportional to number of bags taken
- Charging amount – a minimum charge of 5 to 10 cents per bag
- Coverage of supermarket operators – to subject supermarket operators with revenue above a certain threshold to legislative requirements
- Whether to apply charge to online purchases – in-store purchases only, not online grocery purchases
- Tracking and reporting of information – for supermarkets to track and disclose number of bags issued, amount of charge collected, and how they use the charge proceeds
- Implementation period – mandatory charge to take effect by the first half of 2023
The public can share their feedback via this form from 27 Jan to 17 Feb.
Following that, NEA will summarise the results and publish a final report on the findings.
Contribute towards NEA’s Singapore Green Plan 2030
NEA has been leading the ‘Say YES to Waste Less’ campaign since 2019.
The campaign aims to raise public awareness on the need to reduce excessive consumption of disposables.
According to their press release, this plastic bag charge proposal will contribute to reducing the amount of waste in landfills per capita by 30 percent by 2030.
In 2019 and 2020, Singapore threw away about 200,000 tonnes of disposables each year. This amounts to the size of 400 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Disposable bags alone make up two-thirds of the total.
NEA aims to change the mindsets, habits, and behaviour of citizens regarding disposable plastic bags.
They hope by implementing a plastic bag charge, Singapore will see the same positive results also seen previously in the UK, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Play your part and save the earth
It is undeniable that Singaporeans have gotten accustomed to how readily available plastic bags are.
But it is time we see how such a cavalier attitude is taking a toll on our environment. So the next time you visit a supermarket, do take a bag only if you need it.
If you have any opinions on the matter, do take the time between now and 17 Feb to share your views with NEA here.
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