In a previous post (Just One Word... Plastic) I reported that we have been somewhat amazed (and a little appalled) at the quantities of plastic carry bags that are dispensed to shoppers by the various shops. In some cases you will receive multiple plastic bags-- an item placed in a bag, then placed in a second bag. Not that this isn't happening elsewhere in the world, but it was very evident here.
The reusable carry bag is now a thing of the 21st century. If you are not yet using these bags, they are heavy duty, made of inexpensive nylon or some other synthetic cloth, and frequently are green in color. (Nothing lost on me here). Shops typically sell the bags for a nominal fee. We first experienced these in Ireland, where Europe is leading the green movement. They have become common place in the U.S. California has recently passed legislation to outlaw disposable plastic bags.
The movement to minimize disposable plastic carry bags in Singapore is not new (Petition to Ban Plastic Bags June 2008, Government initiative in 2006), but perhaps it has lagged other parts of the world by a few months in gaining the necessary momentum. The effort seems to now be taking hold (Singapore Gov't campaign: Less plastic bags).
However is this creating a new problem? In an effort to get these reusable carry bags into the hands of shoppers there have been a number of shops and businesses providing free bags free as part of a promotion. Despite our best efforts to carry and use reusable carry bags, we've ended up with a drawer full of them. For those not making the effort where will their free "reusable" carry bags end up?
Would the disposable plastic actually have been better?
A sampling from our collection of "reusable" carry bags here in Singapore