Supermarket shopping bags vs garbage bags?
I heard on the radio how the supermarket chain NTUC was hoping to get more customers bring their own bags instead of using plastic bags to bag their products home.
They talked about it as an environmentally friendly effort.
It was also mentioned that at present moment the many tonnes of plastic bags that are disposed of is used to produce heat in the incinerators, which means it is not totally wasted.
But again it was emphasized that they hope that shoppers would use less plastic bags.
Now I don't know about other people. But in the HDB flat that I live in, almost all the households bag their refuse using the shopping plastic bags. We throw our refuse into a rubbish chute. The chute opening measures 45cm by 35cm. On top of the chute door is a sign saying "Please bag your refuse before throwing it down the chute"
Now if you ask me. It is hygienic and a good thing that people bag their refuse. It makes collection of the rubbish easier and reduces smell and other hygiene risks. So bagging is the way to go. What is the best bag to use? Plastic bags. Whether they are commercial (usually black) garbage bags or supermarket bags, they are still made of plastic.
I think the current balance is good. People go to the supermarket, they get plastic bags. They go home and use the bags to bag their refuse.
Now should the supermarkets stop giving plastic bags and people bring their own bags. Then we will either see people buying commercial garbage bags to bag their refuse or see them throwing it down the chute unbagged! In the first instance, what's the difference to the environment if we throw commercial plastic garbage bags vs supermarket plastic bags? Isn't it the same?
In the second instance, there will be more problems for the garbage collection companies not to mention health risks from poor hygiene conditions around the rubbish collection points. Think flies and insects and stray animals....
Another thing about commercial black garbage bags, they are too big. The chute opening is 35cm by 45 cm. How big is a standard commercial garbage bag? Bigger than that. So we will not be able to fill the bag optimally with rubbish because it won't fit the chute door! Hence more wastage of plastic.
I think the real reason for this drive is that the company has looked at how much they spend on plastic bags. And they realize that although they have already passed the cost to the customers in the pricing of products, if they could save on plastic bag usage and keep product prices as they are.......they will get MORE PROFITS!
I think the companies are pretty smart here. But they can't hoodwink everybody.