MPs debate on plastic bags, beverage returns

MPs debate on plastic bags, beverage returns

SINGAPORE: Should consumers have to pay 5 cents for each plastic bag used in online purchases, and if a 10 cent deposit would be extended to glass bottles were some of the questions raised in the Parliament debate on Tuesday March 21. Nine MPs rose to speak on the Resource Sustainability Amendment Bill, which was passed on Wednesday.

The amendments introduce a new legislative framework for a disposable carrier bag charge at supermarkets, a beverage container return scheme and a food waste reporting system. These measures aim to reduce waste and increase recycling in Singapore.

Major supermarkets will charge S $0.05 US $0.04 per plastic bag from Jul 3, while a 10 cent refundable deposit will be added to bottled and canned drinks from April 1, 2025.

The requirement for existing buildings will be rolled out gradually from the second half of 2025.

MPs Carrie Tan PAP-Nee Soon and Louis Ng PAP-Nee Soon highlighted the amount of packaging used when goods are delivered to customers.

Ms Tan said retailers want to make sure their products are delivered in good condition, because they're particularly generous with their packaging, often using layers of bubble wrap and other materials.

He said that the Ministry should implement the charge for online deliveries. Grocery deliveries, particularly, are notorious for being packed in layers upon layers of disposable bags, he said.