REMARKS BY SMS AMY KHOR AT THE LAUNCH OF THE BRING YOUR OWN BAG CAMPAIGN BY ZERO WASTE SINGAPORE ON 11 FEBRUARY 2023, AT FAIRPRICE XTRA (KALLANG)
Ms Christine Amour-Levar, Board Vice-Chairperson, Zero WasteSG
Mr Chan Tee Seng, Chief Sustainability Officer, FairPrice Group
Mr Peter Campbell, Head of Operations for APAC, Edrington
Mr Marcus Chu, CEO, APAC Realty and ERA Asia Pacific
Ladies and Gentlemen
Good morning everyone. Congratulations to Zero Waste SG for the launch of the Bring Your Own Bag campaign.
2 I understand this is the second time Zero Waste SG is running this campaign, which aims to encourage members of the public to bring your own bag.
Current model of consumption is not sustainable
3 BYOB may seem like a simple action, but it goes a long way in protecting the environment.
4 Over the past few years, households and trade premises in Singapore threw away about 200,000 tonnes of disposables annually. This is equivalent to more than 400 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Of this number, about two-thirds were disposable bags made of plastic and paper.
5 The excessive use of disposables not only puts a strain on resources, but also creates waste and contributes to our carbon emissions. We need to consume more sustainably by reducing what we use and reusing what we have.
BYOB Campaign Complements Government’s Efforts to Promote Sustainable Consumption
6 Zero Waste SG’s BYOB campaign complements the Government’s efforts to encourage reusables and reduce disposables.
7 To spur a broader shift towards more sustainable habits like bringing your own bag, the National Environment Agency will introduce a mandatory charge for disposable carrier bags of at least 5 cents at supermarkets in mid-2023.
8 Many jurisdictions overseas that have implemented a disposable carrier bag charge have seen positive results. For example, bag charges in Hong Kong, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands have reduced consumption of disposable bags by about 60 to 90 per cent.
9 The concept of a bag charge to nudge consumers to reduce the use of disposable bags is not new to Singapore. Many retailers are already charging for bags; for example, FairPrice is charging for disposable carrier bags at this outlet.
10 By bringing your own bags when you go grocery shopping, you can not only help save the environment, but also enjoy some savings from not taking any disposable bag or taking fewer bags. It is easy to do, and most of us already have a reusable bag or two lying around at home.
11 I would also like to emphasise that the charge will not remove access to disposable bags. They will still be available. Afterall, we all still need disposable bags to bag and dispose our trash. The intent of the charge is to nudge us to be more mindful about the number of disposable bags we take at the supermarkets and consider what we really need.
12 Building a sustainable Singapore starts with us. Simple daily habits like BYOB will make a positive difference to our environment. If you don’t usually BYOB, I encourage you to start today.
13 On this note, I invite you to also make a Green Nation pledge at go.gov.sg/greennationpledge and commit to play your part. Do encourage your friends and family to do so too.