NTUC continues plastic bag charge for another year, thanks to 'positive customer response'

15.6 million plastic bags saved so far.

Sumita Thiagarajan | November 11, 2020, 12:44 PM

Since NTUC FairPrice's plastic bag charge scheme began last year on Nov. 11, 2019, at selected stores, the supermarket chain said that the initiative has saved 15.6 million plastic bags.

NTUC FairPrice announced the extension of the plastic bag charge for another year from Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020.

7 out of 10 customers at participating stores refused plastic bags at supermarkets

During the year-long “No Plastic Bag” initiative at 25 FairPrice and Cheers stores, the supermarket chain saw 7.8 million bring-your-own-bag (BYOB) transactions.

Over the past year, about seven in 10 customers who shopped at participating supermarkets chose to BYOB or refused plastic bags, while close to nine in 10 customers BYOB or refused a bag at participating convenience stores.

The initiative will be extended another year following positive customer response.

While the majority of the customers supported this initiative by bringing their own bags, there were also challenges faced on the ground such as having to manage customers who demanded for excessive plastic bags after paying for them.

S$0.10 at Cheers outlets, S$0.20 at FairPrice supermarkets

The plastic bag charge will remain at S$0.10 for plastic bags per transaction at selected Cheers and FairPrice Xpress stores, while the other participating FairPrice stores charged S$0.20 per transaction.

Proceeds from the plastic bag charge will go towards supporting environmental and community causes, according to NTUC FairPrice.

Group CEO of FairPrice Group Seah Kian Peng, also a Member of Parliament, said:

"We are encouraged by the positive customer response garnered; the significant number of plastic bags saved in this short span of one year is a testimony of the greater public awareness for the environment."

In the past year, the initiative raised about S$600,000 from the plastic bag charges.

The supermarket chain aims to save 30 million plastic bags per year by 2030 through a holistic approach that involves enhancing internal practices to be more eco-friendly, public education, partnerships and sponsorships.

A full list of participating stores can be found here.

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