Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) has launched a campaign to reduce plastic bag waste, stressing the need for a mind-set change among those who still are not recycling them. The “Bring Your Own Bag Day” campaign was launched April 18 with the support of major retailers, said the NEA.
Singapore’s 4.5 million people use about 2.5 billion plastic bags each year for their purchases. Most of the bags are reused at home to contain refuse for disposal, which the NEA applauds as a good hygiene practice because it prevents spillage of wet household refuse during disposal and collection. However, many of the bags still are thrown away, the agency noted.
In 2006, about 1.4 million pounds of plastics waste was generated in Singapore, of which only 12 percent was recycled, according to the NEA. The agency said it would like to see an increase in the recycling of plastic waste.
The NEA’s “Why waste plastic bags? Use reusable bags!” campaign, launched in February 2006, has been promoting the use of reusable bags and encouraging shoppers to take only the bags that they need. “We hope to persuade shoppers to consciously choose environmental sustainability over convenience,” said officials of the NEA, which promotes recycling as a means to reduce waste.
Recycling reduces the need for expensive incineration plants and landfills, which are costly and require large tracts of land — a scarce resource in Singapore, the agency pointed out.
Most disposable plastic shopping bags used in Singapore are imported, according to the Singapore Plastic Industry Association.
The sitation is similar to other cities: San Francisco has allready banned plastic bags. This development might be a chance for bioplastic materials.
Source: PLASTICS NEWS, 2007-04-02.