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New measures on packaging, food waste needed to shrink carbon footprint: officials

Nearly seven out of 10 Singaporeans care about environmental sustainability.

The Ministry of Sustainability and Environment emphasised the importance of mitigating the carbon footprint of Singapore is implementing new measures to address packaging and food waste during discussions for the Resource Sustainability (Amendment) Bill in 21 March.

The bill entails a beverage container return scheme, a food waste reporting framework, and charging for the use of disposable carrier bags in supermarkets.

In a survey by Milieu Insight, about 47% of respondents said they support the plastic bag charge initiative. However, 31% have neutral feelings whilst 22% do not support it.

Those between the ages of 16 to 24 had the most support toward the plastic bag charge rule at 55%. Meanwhile, only 37% of those 55 years old and up said they also support the regulation.

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Six out of 10 Singaporeans also said adding a fee to plastic bag usage will greatly impact Singapore’s initiative toward sustainability.

The mandatory charge of plastic bags of at least $0.5 apiece would be implemented toward an average of 400 supermarket outlets in Singapore.

It will also cover big-time supermarket chains like FairPrice, Cold Storage, Giant and Sheng Siong. But the mandatory charge will unlikely be applicable to small-scale convenience stores. Instead, they will be on a voluntary basis.

The bag charge will apply to both disposable and plastic bags as both generate heavy amounts of carbon emissions.

Beginning on 3 July, Singapore Food Agency (SFA) licensed supermarket operators will start charging for carrier bags.

 

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