Singapore-based supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice has unveiled a new programme to reduce the plastic bag usage.
Known as ‘FairPrice Plastic Bag Management Programme’, the new initiative is said to be holistic approach, which is set to replace the existing FairPrice Green Rewards Scheme starting 01 August this year.
The scheme, which was first launched in 2007, offers a discount of S$0.10 to customers who bring their own bags to shop at FairPrice stores.
FairPrice’s spokesperson said: “While there has been an increase in the number of plastic bags saved since the FairPrice Green Rewards Scheme was introduced in 2007, progress has plateaued out – averaging at about 10.8 million bags saved per year in the last three years.”
Through the new programme, the retailer aims to eliminate 30 million plastic bags per year by 2030.
NTUC FairPrice CEO Seah Kian Peng said: “For more than a decade, FairPrice has championed the Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB) movement in Singapore where we have invested more than S$4m – through the FairPrice Green Rewards scheme – to urge the community to use fewer plastic bags.
“We will continue to drive this national initiative and focus on a holistic and scalable framework that aims to address the wider impact of plastic bag use on the environment, while taking into consideration customer needs and habits.”
The plastic bag management programme is a four-pronged approach in which the retailer will review internal processes and undertake measures to reduce plastic bag packaging in operations.
FairPrice will also introduce enhanced eco-friendly bagging practices for cashiers.
Meanwhile, public education programmes will be conducted in partnership with governmental and non-governmental organisations to encourage customers to ditch plastic bags and shift to eco-friendly means.
The retailer intends to increase investment towards nationwide efforts to discourage shoppers from using plastic bags. In order to designs a reusable bag for the public, the retailer is currently working with Nanyang Polytechnic.
Other measures include collaborating with suppliers and manufacturers to develop alternatives for packaging design and material.