How can Singapore kick its plastic bag habit?

Singapore gets through 2 million plastic bags a day. Why do Singaporeans use so many bags, and what will it take to reduce consumption?

Did you know that Singapore consumes over 2 million plastic bags a day? That’s 25 bags every second.

According to a study by the Singapore Environment Council, this daily figure adds up to over 820 million plastic bags used in Singapore every year – enough to cover the land area of Gardens by the Bay 126 times.

Weaning Singaporeans off their addiction to plastic bags is no easy task. Plastic bags are given out for free by most retailers, and for 85 per cent of the population who live in high-rise public housing flats, they are a useful way to dispose of trash down garbage chutes.

Even so, Singapore residents do use a lot of them. One estimate suggests that Singaporeans consume 13 plastic bags a day. It’s a stubborn habit to kick.

Some companies are trying to change Singapore’s predilection for plastic by encouraging customers to BYOB: Bring Your Own Bag.

Companies such as NTUC FairPrice and H&M charge a small fee for customers who wish to use a plastic bag. Furthermore, reusable bag donation bins have been set up at several supermarkets around the island, which allow customers to drop off their unused bags for redistribution.

The question remains: has Singapore been swayed by these initiatives?

Eco-Business took to the streets—and to the supermarket—to get a feel for Singaporeans’ sentiments on plastic bags.

Although some felt that they needed plastic bags to line their bins, others were more enthusiastic about doing their part to reduce waste.

Watch our video to learn more about Singaporeans’ plastic bag habits and find tips to reduce your reliance on plastic bags.

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