Smaller retailers in Singapore are responding to the Bring Your Own (BYO) shopping bag campaign launched by new environmental organisation Zero Waste SG.
As well as discounts for customers who bring their own bag, some are offering free drinks as incentives, while several have committed to continuing the practice after the campaign.
Of the four big supermarket chains, NTUC FairPrice has been encouraging customers to bring their own bags for a 10-cent discount on a minimum purchase of $10 since 2007. It says its Green Rewards scheme saved 10.9 million plastic bags last year – only 0.4 per cent of the national volume of 2.5 billion plastic bags used annually.
Supermarket chain Cold Storage is giving reusable bags during the BYO campaign to customers who bring their own bags for purchases of at least $20.
So far there has been no response to the campaign from the Dairy Farm Group, Prime Supermarket and Sheng Siong chains, according to Today Online.
With the concept not restricted to plastic bags, cafe chains such as Joe & Dough, Paul and Starbucks are offering a 50-cent discount for those who bring their own mugs.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh, China and South Africa have completely banned the use of plastic bags, while other countries, including Indonesia and Taiwan, levy a fee for their use.