the mrbrown show: bring your own bag

Photo by Meredith_Farmer

Not everyone is dealing well with the new bag policy.

Podcast iconPodcast: the mrbrown show 20 April 2007: bring your own bag (MP3, file size: 1.2mb, Time: 00:02:28)


Update: Esther Tan from Singapore Environment Council left a comment on this show which I thought was interesting:

Hello folks,

Actually, the donations will come to us at the Singapore Environment Council. The SEC is a charity and a non-government organisation. The money that we receive will be used in our environmental educational programmes, one of the major ones being the Climate Change Awareness Programme.

Personally, I feel that 10 cents does not represent the cost of a plastic bag. Rather, it represents the ENVIRONMENTAL cost of a plastic bag. There is an environmental cost to everything that we do. All our daily activities comes at an environmental cost. And for a very long time, we have ignored this very important fact. This is why we are facing so many environmental problems that inevitably affect our pockets, and worse, threaten our very existence.

Anyway, 10 cents is just the suggested amount. If you want, just put in 1 cent. Or nothing at all. It is voluntary after all.

If you underestimate the damage that plastic bags can do, please visit the following website and perhaps you will be as afraid as I was when I read it……

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78 Responses to “the mrbrown show: bring your own bag”

  1. Listener from TW Says:

    technical problems. the podcast seems to stop after 50 secs…no matter I listen through my subscription or here. something wrong mayb?

  2. Adrian Says:

    its kinda patheic isn’t it? now we even got to pay for plastic bags? that means hor, if next time i wanna ta bao from my downstair coffee shop, i need to bring my own bowl and container go down is it? i wun be surprise if 10 years down the road, they start charging us for the air we breath….

  3. There won't be an Earth Says:

    The world started to move towards economic friendly with many a capitalist cashing in… Want to blame? Blame the top dollars for BAD regulation…

    Anyone honestly think this garment we’re convinced to ‘wear’ has the people in their mind? Or their pockets? Show us the Care! Show us the Concern!

    As for climate… anyone realised the weather’s been different this couple of years? Plus we had a case of flooding too… A mini-tornado appearing in Sentosa… blah blah… When Gaia’s angry, she retaliates full force… and when that happens, There’ll be no Natural barrier to protect Singapore when the patterns change…

  4. There won't be an Earth Says:

    ecology friendly economic friends are popping up all over the world. hipppee!!!

  5. Environmental Friendly Says:

    Talking about environmental friendly policies reminded me of the time when i went Korea for a holiday. U gotta pay if u wanna use the toothbrush and shaver in the hotel. The management claims that they did this in accordance to some environmental act. Even the toothpicks in restaurants are edible. LOL, so extreme. Dunno whether they are lying or not.

  6. suan Says:

    haha! did u guys catch the sexual euphemisms?

    “banana and rambutan in the plastic bag?”

    “…my ice cream…wet the paper bag then the bag tear and spill all my vanilla ice cream how?”

  7. Anonymous Coward Says:

    Charge or no charge, got use plastic bag means got use plastic bag. No need to charge for plastic bag one.

    Just like saying, wallop people need to pay fine, so pay money first, then okay to wallop people, really siao man.

    If big corp really care about environment, just use paper bag.


    Some joker say last time the mothers go market also no got plastic bag, the mothers mother bring basket along.

    He idiot, forget last time the market and shops very near, just round the corner or maybe next door. Now the market need to take feeder service.

    He idiot again, last time buy things buy for one or two day only, because no got refrigerator. Now buys things buy at least for one week becos no got time.

    He @#^&^%$^&^%$^% .. shit!!!!!!


    Wah, express my feeling already, damn shiok

    I not coward any more , dare to say already


  8. NoFear Says:

    TO: No Earth Anymore

    We do understand tat we ned to save the earth and of cos it is very important! The main problem is fuel! Not Plastic bag! We Singapore refines crude oil to petrol and other grades of fuel=$$. Garmen wouldn’t slap their own face to support electric car implementation in singapore. One of our minister, is in china, helping with their economic and now china stops alot of their electric car project and you can see alots of petrol/disel car all around beijing. Formally beijing has the largest electric vehical communities in the world. Tat is what we call helping the earth! PPL in europe, middle east and US starts to use solar energy a few years back to save earth and to save percentage of dollars in their pocket. Electricity is also money. If we use solar enery mean we use lesser electricity from SPS, means garmen earn less money. If garmen wans to be green, then retrofit every s’pore building with solar panel and UPS. Set a law, every new building built, will ned to implement this feature and not transfer the plastics cost to civilian! US garmen is giving out grant to those who convert to hybrid car/electric car. In s’pore hybrid car is more expensive then normal car. WE save some petrol but pays more on the hybride car. Again the price is transfer to us. Anyway we still neds plastic bag to throw rubbish. plastic bag usage will not drop to a level to save the earth. But one thing for sure, our pocket will drop to a level to provide more profit to company hence provide more tax for garmen. And garmen can tell the world, we are saving earth. But the question is: wat percentage?!!! BY THE WAY plastic bag can be recycle hor! Fuel can recycle meh? cookin oil can become disel. but after disel use in car, become wat? Stil polutions! Fuel= polutions worse then plastric bag! Plastic bag only peanuts lah!!!!

  9. NoFear Says:

    BY the way I use an electric bicycle in the neibourhood. To ran eran and go maket.Anything less then 10km, I use the electric bicycle. more the 10km, I use motorcycle bec less fuel then car= less polution= use less money. Talkin abt save the earth, wat have you done?

  10. NoFear Says:

    All minister have big car. Wan to save the earth? Go peddle bicycle everyday lah.

  11. classiclicious Says:

    OMG ! plastic bag anxiety (PBA). hahaha

  12. NoFear Says:
    fuel cell car is another schem by car company. hydrogen is expensive to produce! go above link if u wan to noe more. battaries is the next economic drive.if garmen wans to boost economy by reserch hence produce a patent product to sell the world. go into battaries reserch. whoever get the technology of charging batt fast and patent it, will earns big money in the next era. put so much money in bio med(nicely put)? No product, still nevermind. nw the cost wans whole country to bare? the so call doctor eat finish, pad pad backside then go back their own country liao. wat percentage of s’porean is in bio med? this industry give hw many s’porean ricebow? We ned to invest, i agree, but how much return and wen is the break even, garmen mus set. if cannot meet target, gamen mus do something to the incharge(maybe a minister). nt dump more money to the rubbish bin, cover up for the incharge and ask more money from the ppl. Mus learn from Han Wu Da Di. He set the roots for 400+yrs of rule for han danasty in the history of china. I do respect SM lee who at least set some roots for s’pore but the tree is gog to be uprooted soon. We ned leader with high IQ and EQ. Nw our leader only have limited IQ. Mus take some upgrade course liao.

  13. NoFear Says:

    Maybe pay cuts also helps to boost IQ and EQ.

  14. There won't be an Earth Says:

    1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 is 1+1 that went on a long journey

  15. There won't be an Earth Says:

    Emperor’s new clothes… Who wants to step forward and be that brave kid? Rather… who Dares to step out from anonymity?

  16. NoFear Says:

    The father spend too much time in the country and forgot to teach the son properly but funny, the other son actually ok leh. maybe the frns tat they mixed wif lah.

  17. NoFear Says:

    Wow lau don’t noe i will be in danger or not saying all this rubbish.

  18. will Says:

    they _will_ charge us for the air we breath. or at least the air we breath out. what do you think carbon credits is?

  19. Jui Keng Says:

    If they are really environmental conscious, why not ask NTUC Fairprice to provide brown paper bags using recycled paper? That’s what Walmart and Target supermarts provide in Perth. What they are after is just another source of revenue, the greedy bastards. Next they will benchmarking their salaries against high income hawkers!

  20. Alvina Says:

    This video damn cute. A little dull in the middle with a few humourous parts, but the last part is plain ridiculous. :) In a good way!

    Ummms… recycled paper not cheap, and chopping down trees not helping environment too. Bring your own bag lahh, next time fashionable to bring your own designer-made bag! Something like the fad of designing your own canvas shoes.

    Who knows… xP

  21. Bag Lady Says:

    Come on people! The gov’t is just trying to make us more environmentally conscious. Give them a break! Have you seen PPL in the supermarket asking for extra plastic bags because they are free?

    I try to put in some effort to be green. I count myself lucky to have a car. I have a few of reusable cotton bags in the trunk and i go to wet market w/ my designated plastic (unfortunately) containers for meats. I also have a couple reusable folded fabric (synthetic, sorry!) shopping bags in my handbag for impromptu shopping. Although all these could only sort of compensate the pollution created by my driving! But I try.

    I think it is not difficult to fold a couple of plastic bags into neat triangle and put them into handbags (if you carry one). Chinese has a saying : Ji Shao Chen Duo ie, collection of much from little. So just try your best to chip in.

    On the other hand, if plastic bag is the target why not do away with the black rubbish bin plastic liners. Most of the households use shopping plastic bags for rubbish then these filled plastic bags go into another bigger plastic bags!

    If we ante up this green movement and if gov’t is SINCERE in the green movements, perhaps taking the lead speaking with actions would be more effective. All new gov’t cars, buildings must be green. National green projects bills should be paid for by the gov’t, not from donations. I am not well informed as most times i just browse thru the ST so pardon me if this is already in the policy pipeline.

    $$$ works wonders, it brings about clean gov’t then it should also bring about clean environment. Give grants, incentives to PPL who have green features in their houses/ buildings, subsidise green products.

    $$$ also seems to be the most effective incentive. If our preeminent MPs needs $$$ as INCENTIVES to remain clean and $$$ to entice talents to join our clean gov’t then $$$ would also be needed as INCENTIVES to entice the ordinary folks to be green. Reward those who put in effort, discounts to those who shop with own bags (like me hehehe….)

    Not sure if i am making sense as I am no scholar but just a confused bag lady!

  22. LOL Says:


  23. Jaime Says:

    i think paying for plastic bags is acceptable. this is already being done in japan and a lot of japanese housewives bring their own canvas bags when doing shopping. personally i think that’s a good move for environmentalism.

  24. Ruth Ellison Says:

    Maybe the S’pore Government needs to do something similar to what Woolworths and Coles in Australia does - selling reusable “green bags” (and there’s a blue freezer bag as well), and offering the use of recycled plastic bags (bags made from recycled plastic bags, rather than bags being reused ;).

    It’s easy to leave a few of these green bags in your work office/home etc so you can nearly-always have one on hand.

    It’s really cool to attend an outdoor event in Australia and see people using these “green bags” to carry everything (not just groceries).

  25. Eco Citizen Says:

    Many Singaporeans are behind the First World countries in being civic- and environmentally-conscious. Our MM shouldn’t claim that Singapore is First World until its citizens practise social responsibility. Just because we are sheltered geographically from many natural disasters doesn’t mean we and our children will not suffer from the worsening effects of global warming soon.

    In Australia, no one complains about the need to be eco-friendly. Everyone there cooperates and plays a part - some even carry their groceries in cardboard boxes to bring to their cars, unlike some Singaporean women who brought home the supermarket baskets. Many Singaporeans are selfish and have a really micro view of the world.

  26. jos Says:

    i actually thought singapore was already too slow in implementing such a policy. Ikea in UK sells buy corn-made, strong bags for 25p but you can reuse them again and again. i think the singapore supermarkets should sell more durable bags so that people can reuse them more.

    and i was really disappointed at the singaporeans who uses free fruit plastic bags. rebellion is for teenagers!!

    maybe it is time for you pampered people to start thinking about the environment and not just have the mindset that the big corporations are out to cheat your money. how much money can they make from 10cents? selling even 100,000 will bring about a relatively small profit of less than $10,000!!

    i have always tried to refuse plastic bags when i don’t need them, preferring to put them in my bag instead. i have been doing it for years and i don’t see any problems with it. in fact, i feel much happier and less bombared with bags when i get home..

  27. No Fear Says:

    To jos,

    I noe $10000!! is peanuts to you. But to alot of ppl, this is big money. look who is pampered. wat have u done to be green?!!! There is still ppl earning less then $10000 per year in singapore. And base on $3 per meal, $10000 can feed 3333 poor ppl for 1 meal.

  28. No Fear Says:

    To Jaime,

    We have paid for those plastic as the cost is already projected by all company in singapore. They should reduce 10cent for the thing we buy, when we use our own plastic bag. And not ask us to pay more.

  29. No Fear Says:

    environmentalism SHOULD NOT BE FORCE BUT TO EDUCATE!!! There is a difference between human and animal. Wan to be green? The only way is to recycle. Singapore must promote recycle industries!!! And gov should not tax recycle industries for at least 20yrs so that companies are willing to R&D more processes to recycle things and to stablize cost of product. Only after cheap processes are found then gov can tax them. Any enviromentalist with constructive idea, please express. We do need to save the world but with more logical ways.

  30. chia Says:

    lol , people in other countries already begun charging plastic bags long ago

  31. Joey Says:

    Sometimes I look at the kind of unthinking netizens we have and I feel like crying. These people only know how to whack the govt at every single opportunity.

    Jos has made a valid point and No Fear’s response was entirely uncalled for. It never ceases to amaze me how some netizens can link 2 completely unrelated incidents and/or come up with completely senseless rebuttals (if they can be called that at all) to valid points. What Jos was saying is that NTUC won’t earn much from collecting 10 cents (which is merely a token sum) per bag.

    In any case, if you’re really feel so indignant about contributing a fraction of that $10,000 that NTUC will “earn” from 100,000 bags, buy a reusuable bag lah! And if you really think that they should charge less when you bring your own bag (like real NTUC would ever do that hahaha!) you can give feedback to NTUC. Don’t sit here and do nothing, just kb.

    Reducing the number of plastic bags that we use is a worthy endeavour. Don’t let our petty grouses obscure that fact.

  32. Someday.. Says:

    Just for your info, in some states here in the US, the supermarkets actually pay you when you bring your own bag for your purchases. (range from 5cents to 25 cents or more… depending on yr purchases. And No… they dont charge you for their stores’ plastic or paper bags either. This is only logical as the supermarkets pass on their savings to their customers when they bring their own bag. I’m sure NTUC Fairprice can do likewise!

  33. patgoh Says:

    For the sake of saving the earth, Supermarts & shops stop providing plastic bags and customers have to pay for plastic bags.

    How about these ?

    For the sake of our HEALTH , hawkers and estuarants would stop adding Salt and Oil into the food. Customer must pay for SALT, OIL, SAUCE

    For the sake of our Health, Coffeeshops STOP Adding SUGAR. Customers must pay for the SUGAR.

    Same logic right ?

    I find that some Singaporeans are rather simple-minded and are easily conned and manupulated. Always believing wholly what is being told without using his brain to think and analyse.

    Some time ago, Mr Li Ao (from Taiwan) and an actor in Hong Kong had remarked that Singaporeans are stupid. I felt offended and thought their generalisation was too much, but now I have to agree with them.

    Very sad.

    Save the earth ? I questioned this point many times, but appears that nobody really knows how using fewer plastic bags can save the earth.

    Even with no idea of how we can save the earth. Already many people jump in to support this campaign and say, yes, save the earth, let’s pay for the plastic bags. (The Supermarts must be very happy to know that there is another source of income)

    I searched the internet and found the following :

    Plastic bags pose a threat to marine life, because, if ingested, the bags can block the stomach and cause starvation. Sea turtles, for example, mistake plastic bags for jellyfish. In 2002 a minke whale that washed up on a beach at Normandy was found to have 800 grams of plastic and other packaging in its stomach. Stray plastic bags can also clog sewer pipes, leading to stagnant, standing water and associated health hazards.

    Just because of the above, the Supermart already found reason to charge us more. How absurb ?

    I think the Supermart should cite some more valid reasons like

    1. The plastic bag poses the risk of suffocating kids, dogs, small animals

    2. When the plastic bag is thrown on floor and anyone steps on it may fall, and the fall may break his leg, thus the need to incurr medical fees, and may result in unemployment, thus the society would suffer, his family suffers, children in hardship, and he would be in depression, and jump onto MRT track, resulting in thousands of commutters suffer.

    See, 1 plastic bag on the floor can cause so much. Therefore, please dont use our plastic bags or pay for it. (hehehehe…….. cost savings. Profit higher this year. Thank you Singaporeans)

    I support the idea of using fewer plastic bags but NOT the idea that we should be paying for plastic bags. Benefitting the Supermarts and shops at the expense of shoppers.


  34. No Fear Says:

    Ai ya these ppl are supportter of pap lah. our leader can force ppl to give up donation that other ppls give. like the cases in yishun or the nicloe highway or the one who jump mrt. U think ppl alot of money, donate to these ppl? alot of ppl also can survive only but they noe these ppl needs help and provide help because the gamen choose not to help! I am asking for constructive idea Joey! U think your idea is constructive?

  35. No Fear Says:

    Hi Joey,
    What Jos was saying is that NTUC won’t earn much from collecting 10 cents (which is merely a token sum) per bag.

    Wow these phase sounds like NKF is only paying peanut!

  36. No Fear Says:

    Hi Joey,
    Reducing the number of plastic bags that we use is a worthy endeavour.

    Only this part sounds like human. But there is alot of ways to do this.

    AS someday says, sounds very logical.

  37. No Fear Says:

    By the way smoking also causes pollutions but you think garmen will ban smokin in singapore? Again smoking tax is high! In US, the town Tempa is smoke free on street. you cant find tobaco selling there. wow the memories are painful cos i am a smoker. Ha! Ha! Ha!

  38. Joey Says:

    Someday: If you really think that it is unfair that American supermarkets can give rebates when people bring their own shopping bags but NTUC can’t, bring it up to NTUC. No point just sitting here to complain, yes? Anyway, I’m not sure that Singaporeans will respond to 25 cent incentives. Maybe only some. But if you take something (10 cents) away, a lot of people kaopeh. And if kaopeh volume is inversely proportional to plastic bag use, I think a lot of people will bring their own bags.

    NoFear: You got ask for constructive idea meh? Since when Bhavani also frequent this site? And since when was kaopeh-ing constructive? By the way, using less plastic bags and govt allowing smoking are two different issues. It is highly possible that govt won’t ban smoking because of the tax revenues (similar to how gambling has been legalised etc) but I think that is very different from the plastic bag issue.

    patgoh: I also agree that NTUC/the govt should not be allowed to benefit even 1 cent from plastic bags. Since everyone feels so strongly about it, use reusable bags lor! Then govt will not benefit and no one needs to kaopeh anymore. End of story. By the way, your analogies are a bit flawed. In the case of the plastic bags, you have a reasonable substitute (bring your own bag!) but there are no substitutes for sugar, oil, etc. So charging for plastic bags is more reasonable than charging for sugar/oil because you can avoid paying the former but not the latter.

    Aiyah at the end of the day, the govt wants you to be pissed off enough about having to pay extra for plastic bags that you will stop using plastic bags. And if the reaction here is anything to go by, it is quite effective.

  39. WevHez Says:

    Just continue using plastic bags like water. Singapore will be underwater in 20 years time.

  40. whitecat Says:

    I everyday shower 2 times - for nothing I shower also.. because I feel like having water splashing over me.. waste water ? I got pay PUB leh.. so what is the big deal of saving the earth.. we all going to die in next 200 years when water dries up and iceberg melts and flood the world.

    I also like to idle my car for more than 5 minutes and enjoy the air con from my car.. so ? I pay my own petrol bill what.. what is the big deal ?

    So, a stupid plastic bag that is basically build up of Carbon, Oxygen, hydrogen molecules chains … etc .. which is no concern with any living thing.. why get so work up ? Just bury them underground and forget about them lah… by 200 years later when we all die, the plastic also perish at the same time lah.. when they decomposes…

  41. NoFear Says:

    To Joey,

    weader i ask for constuctive idea, go up and see. Anyway the garmen is monitoring this site or maybe you are one of the agent. If kaopei here not use, y need to monitor? The garmen also wants to hear constructive idea. They may not take 100%. They may not do the thing in near future. But if idea is heard, even for other countries. And they do it. our copycat garmen might try it out. well maybe 100yrs later. But nevermind at least there is a slim chance. you noe gun power is invented by china? china garmen during tat time dont use but later use by westener. later the ming danasty use it and won the war. leonodo in ancient italy have alot of idea but during tat time due to religon cannot say out. the idea of flying machine is frm him. Nw please look at our world. Got heli or nt? Mabe you think this website is for school debate.

  42. NoFear Says:

    By the way, its gamen who sets the rule not NTUC hor. NTUC and other companies only ‘tiam tiam’ enjoy there. Even if we ‘TU LAN’ and bring our own bag,they earn liao. we use their bag, they earn doubble. best method is to buy from store that give plastic bag. to recycle, dont buy black thrash bag. use those free plastic bag to throw wet rubbish.

  43. NoFear Says:

    Bhavani? ’similan’

  44. NoFear Says:

    Hi whitecat actually you are doing the correct thing. As long as you pay and pay. lol

  45. NoFear Says:

    Hi WevHez,

    Plastic bags problem to gobal warming is very small only. CO2, carbon monoxide and particles in the air have a higher contribution to gobal warming hence causes iceberg to melt and rise sea level. infact the jap uses rubbish to reclaim lan before. as it it hardly degradable. plastic bag somtime cause life(example: fish) in sea to die. too many dead thing promotes germs and may mutate genes of sea creature. wont be gd to us cos we eat seafood. Plastic bag are mainly pollutions. if gobal warming, the sea level will affect lower lan nearer to sea level. few countries in europe, like sinking italy, holland or maybe venia might affected. Singapore maybe will be affected cos recliam works already clear most of our hills. but nvemind, we can always run to bukit timah. lol

  46. Esther Tan Says:

    Hello folks,

    Actually, the donations will come to us at the Singapore Environment Council. The SEC is a charity and a non-government organisation. The money that we receive will be used in our environmental educational programmes, one of the major ones being the Climate Change Awareness Programme.

    Personally, I feel that 10 cents does not represent the cost of a plastic bag. Rather, it represents the ENVIRONMENTAl cost of a plastic bag. There is an environmental cost to everything that we do. All our daily activities comes at an environmental cost. And for a very long time, we have ignored this very important fact. This is why we are facing so many environmental problems that inevitably affect our pockets, and worse, threaten our very existence.

    Anyway, 10 cents is just the suggested amount. If you want, just put in 1 cent. Or nothing at all. It is voluntary after all.

    If you underestimate the damage that plastic bags can do, please visit the following website and perhaps you will be as afraid as I was when I read it……

  47. jan Says:

    Ya ya enviromental friendly. But how many people are. Only talk. U se the newspaper vendor, they send newspaper to big houses, small letter boxes, no paper receptacles, poor man don’t know where to put the papers. Get scolding papers wet. Why ur boss cannot afford plastic bags eh? But I everyday deliver 500 copies of papers, where i got space to put plastic bags? And then u all use, never give me back so i have to buy and you don’t pay me. The is also adding more damage to the environment. Maybew you can put a plastic bin for me easier.

  48. NoFear Says:

    Dear Esther,

    So you mean our garmen is putting veri little fund in this area? They should put more money in this area then to give themself a pay raise. Can Singapore Environment Council apply for more fund to educate the public? And since you are from Singapore Environment Council, can you tell us plastic bag compare to car, which causes more damage to the environment? Is there a solution to throw wet rubbish without using plastic? Because wet rubbish also cause pest like rat, rouches and etc which also causes environmental problems. Isn’t recycling a better solution to help the earth? Y garmen not promoting?

  49. kf Says:

    Dear Esther.

    I support the need for for environmental protection and awareness in our country. On the topic of plastic bags, I believe this website provides a great overview of the problems and solutions in the Australian context. (Planet Ark)

    Is there a similar resource than Singaporeans can turn to and it is being publicized? Unfortunately there is a lingering perception in many of us that the only bottom line for our government is money and therefore schemes like this are viewed with suspicion. Perhaps the SEC can do more to put forward their cause?

    I also read from the BBC that there are many such actions that the british have taken to protect our environment:
    (Businesses to make climate pledge)
    (No plastic bag in town shops)

    Is the SEC doing more for our environment?

  50. gofish Says:

    It is in my opinion that the garmen definately does not allocate enough funds to the environmental awareness cause. It was something looked over when they were budgetting for other areas such as- ministers salary.

    Esther mentions environmental cost i think that its exactly what the 10cents is paying for. I mean there is a direct association between the increasing number of global natural disasters and climate change with the increase in greenhouse gasses.

    The SIGNS are everywhere staring us point blank what is it we dont see or comprehend, why do we fight the facts? Be pro-active in tackling global warming.

  51. NoFear Says:

    No answer from NEA…… Y our garmen like tat one…….. Hee… Maybe Esther is being force by the top to write in this site. For those who is being force to write, I’m so sorry.

  52. pissed Says:

    maybe its time we, humans do our bit in an effort to save the earth..even if its a very small effort.bring ur own bags if u dont wan to pay for the plastic bags.its the least that we can do now if no one wants to have a taste of plastic in the sure many of us have loads of plastic bags at home.

  53. Esther Tan Says:

    Dear kf,

    The SEC handles many projects - one of which you may be familiar with - The Singapore Green Labelling Scheme. There are also many ad-hoc ones.
    For more details, please visit our website and if you have any questions, email us at I’m very happy to answer them or even discuss issues.

    At SEC, we are limited by how much we can do but we make do. Actually, there are only 8 people working in our office!

    I hope more people will speak up and spread the message about things we can do. Word-of-mouth works really well.

    Thanks for the web links!

  54. Esther Tan Says:

    Dear “No Fear”,

    …. so maybe I’m being “forced” to write and maybe I’m doing it out of responsibility to SEC and to myself. I live on this planet and want to protect it. Who wants to build a toilet over a well that they drink from? Not me! People always say “save the earth”. But it should be “save ourselves”. Look at when the dinosaurs got wiped out… did life cease to exist? It didn’t. Other forms of life flourished. So if ever the human race becomes extinct - other life will continue. Does nature really need us to be here for life on our planet to exist? I think the answer is “no”. Maybe our planet is better off without us. We’re too clever for our good.

    ….that was me talking….

    I really don’t know how the government budgets for such things. We obtain partial funding and rely on corporations to sponsor. Of course, generous individuals help us too, with their time(volunteers) and donations sometimes.

    We have not done such comparative research - between plastic bags and cars. However, I have been informed that the transportation sector contributes one fifth of all carbon emissions. But I believe this is a gross estimation. Depends on which country you are in?

    I think there is a disposal system that does not require a plastic bag. It’s the ENVAC system but we have yet to really implement it here. If you like, I can do a bit of research for you and let you know. Just drop me an email at

    Remember that recycling also causes pollution and uses up resources. Reducing and reusing things - that’s more effective. Prevention is better than cure right?

    Anyway, the NEA does have recycling schemes…. you can visit their website and learn more

    We can take this offline if you like - so much info I could give….don’t want to jam up Mr Brown’s blogspace too much!

  55. NoFear Says:

    See our gov respon liao! from the straits time in 30 aprl report germany first solar city to 04 may tv news world gog to cut 50% emition. Who says write here no use. But still veri sad, cos news only reports importanance of saving the earth and what other countries did or gog to do. But wat has singapore gov done and plans to do?!!! I see that the would be funds put in this area by S’pore gov is LOL!!!!! india also spend more dispite their lowly paid gov.

  56. NoFear Says:


    If you drive,please change to public transport to save the earth bec it it more effective then to bring ur own bag. By the way, how you throw your wet rubbish?

  57. NoFear Says:


    How many plastic bag u have at hm? Can last how long? After u finished using ur reserve plastic to throw wet rubbish, are you gog to buy black thrash to throw those wet rubbish of urs?

  58. NoFear Says:

    The spoiled child again patten liao liao……..

  59. NoFear Says:

    Dear Esther,
    Any knowledge is to be shared. Y take it offline? Sound as if we are in some fights or what. By the way the link u provide seems to have error. Recycly causes polution but also reduce polution. Everything in this world is link. that is y i said singapore should promote recycle industry, go into r&d and improve or find new process and petent the process. this will benefit the earth and as well as singapore economy in future. renewable industry like solar to electricity system and wind powered generator should come first. If fully utilise can provide about 20% electricity to singapore. And in long term:
    1. provide more job to singaporean
    2.rely less on fossil fuel
    3.less emision to earth
    4.reduce cost of living
    5.reduce cost of business in singapore hence draw in more conpany

    I know and understands 8 of u, truely care for earth and u have limited resourse. The only problem is that singapore gov are nt gog the rite direction in dis area. Fishing line mus be long enough to hav big catch. gov mus nt be short sighted. As a small country we mus be the best in tech then we will be the solution to other countries and nt find solution in other countries. WE mus be the solution and nt the comptitors to other countries, to survive. at the same time help the earth. And nt into 5cent, 10cent extra profit from the ppl.

  60. NoFear Says:

    Hi Esther,

    went to SEC web liao. those are great jobs that 8 of u have done. no hard feelings for the words i said tat u are forced. Mus be hard job convincing our gov, to get those jobs done. I mus say good job to the 8 of u. the NEA web still got error! but still the same word, sing gov nt doing enough for the salary they have got.

  61. Esther Says:

    Hi NoFear,

    Thank you very much. We will continue to do what we can.
    No hard feelings at all. Anyway, it’s good to hear what people say. It will help us with tailoring our educational programmes better. Okay, if you like we can continue here. Although I sometimes may be busy so will not answer promptly.

    World Environment Day is coming on 5 June. Listen and watch for events to observe this day. In fact, organise your own if you feel like it….Need ideas? I can try to give. Oh, and 6 June is the next BYOBD….

    Just would like to remind everyone not to take their displeasure out on the cashiers. They are only following instructions. And I really would like to thank them for their hard work. Not easy to face angry customers. Some of them really are wonderful. “Double respect” as Ali G would say.

  62. NoFear Says:

    Anyone who is intrested in making money frm making Bio fuel. The link should be useful. Try getting funds from EDB.

  63. NoFear Says:

    Hi Esther,

    Any way U guys can ask HBD to fix solar panel on HDB blocks? They have the biggest area in Singapore. If they agrees, we will have tons of gases (green hse effect) less per day. I have the tech knowledge and can help for free if “the garmen” wants.

  64. NoFear Says:

    From Esther

    Good to hear from you. Think there have been some new initiatives about
    solar power in the papers. We have yet to work with HDB on a really big
    project but there is always the opportunity with the solar panels. There is
    a National Climate Change Committee - maybe you have already visited their
    site. Just in case, here is the link.

    It may be easier to approach them first, then HDB.

    We can discuss….

    From NoFear,

    Look like National Climate Change Committee is working with NUS.
    Since NUS has all the elite, I don’t think they need my help. Maybe ppl like JS can help. Really like to see how many years frm nw, they then implement solar panel to our HDB building. Haiz

  65. NoFear Says:

    Strait Times May 19 2007 science section(abt green enery, bio fuel) is very well written. But action still spk louder then words. lets see how long they need to produce the results. :)

  66. NoFear Says:

    By the way, the content on tat article is very general. Ammertur… also noe. Wat is important is wat have we done and attained. No point talking abt those technology and do nothing. wait for the final product frm other country ah!? use autcad/ unigraphic/solid works to draw the hybridge car. only drawing? ppl already starts mass production. only thing s’pore can do is bring down cost or reduce tax/coe on green car. draw the block diagram for wat?

  67. puteracity Says:

    Gd one MB :)

    Quotes,, Esther Tan from Singapore Environment Council : “All our daily activities comes at an environmental cost. And for a very long time, we have ignored this very important fact”.

    Well, are you sure what you are saying? Our x have been well known for promoting a healthy lifestyle and dont say that x have forgotten to tackle this issue early on? For the past few years I’ve read an article in our close neighbour country local news paper, where they were considered to make a plastic bags that made from a tapioca(as a subtance) and of course it’s not an eatable one. The idea is to reduce the pollution and stuff by by not depend on burning method to destroy those bags.

    Secondly- 1- Our ppl is actually making less hot air every day cos most of the time we travelled using a public trasports, walk or even ride a bicycle to most places (expensive to own a vehicle lor) 2- Less enjoy ( work long hours/over time to sustain lifes) 3- no need to tell.. everybody shud know one lor sort of like - Switch off the electricity/appliances when its not in use- (omg i osso dont like to see the bill) 4- We dont burn a field etc ( nobody likes the fine) 5- no fire armed or even fire crackers ( who wants to go to jail?) and other things that u may think logically outside the head.

    So, we are actually imo making less heat here.. Anyway, generally I agreed for the call to make Singapore Green and healthy environment, but I doubt that some countries/ppl may not ready to fully participate it for the ‘Green World’, cos to go Green, everybody must go clean, at the first stage.

  68. puteracity Says:

    Quotes by Eco: “Everyone there(Australia) cooperates and plays a part - some even carry their groceries in cardboard boxes to bring to their cars, unlike some Singaporean women who brought home the supermarket baskets”.

    ermm may i know what is the cardboard made from? is that an Eco friendly? what will happen to the trees/forest in future? does the cardboard or paperbag cheap in term of price?

  69. Wantodie ler Says:

    Hiya, nowdays people very ma fan one. still need to pay 4 plastic bag arh. might as well dun use lor! nvm, reuseable one lar. wad if raining then not waterproof? all the thing inside go make into kns thing liao ah.

  70. GilaGilera Says:

    If it is so difficult to give away plastic bags like how they used to, all supermarkets dont have any bags at all la..Scan, pay and that’s it..what happens if the CEO(of the supermarket)’s wife happen to make an impromptu trip to a supermarket and was made to walk away with the items she bought in her hands or stuffed into her designer(tiny weeny) handbag???LOL

  71. NoFear Says:

    By the way, if solar panel saga is really going to happen in singapore, the break even is like 2 to 3yrs after the implementation. After that, the garmen earns the money from electricity at zero cost from the sun and continueously dropping price from lead acid batteries(car batt). given tat the current technology, a solar panel life span is 20 to 23yrs and lead acid bateries at 1000+ time recharge. this means in 23yrs about 8 times change of batteries.

  72. NoFear Says:

    The Straits Times, wen 6june2007, upfront, Solar energy takes on a new shine in singapore,

    Pg1: the research and create job part is good.
    Pg2: Tot Mr tony have good relations with HDB? y not start the project in HDB first? Trying to buy time? No other area in singapore is bigger than HDB. When talking about solar energy, we are also talking abt amount of area to catch sunlight. The more area, the more energy/electricity produces. To make this project suscessful(not 10 yrs later as stated in the news), the project is best jump start in HDB area.

  73. NoFear Says:

    I used to buy alot from ikea. will not go there again. The FT from ikea in the news very attitude leh. will buy those small small things from local shops next time. big thing will ask local contractor to make. anyway ikea thing quality very bad, tats y i buy every year. come to think of it, not worth. will try to buy things from local shops in future. Wed went supermarket wan to buy things, try to force me to donate 10cent. I hate being force. Donate shld be volenteer. So i put product back.

  74. Nargh Says:

    I am utterly APPALLED at the responses, or should i say, the lack of responses from the community with regards to the programme. Its a good effort in attempt to reduce the amount of plastic bags we use, but I honestly don’t think its enough. Also considering the fact that the 10cents is “optional” just undermines the whole purpose of the bring your own bag idea. Its not about making money, its about saving the environment for the sake of the future generations, or even our own very well-being. Even retailers abroad charge extra for the plastic bottled drinks to encourage recyling (so you get your money back when you recycle those bottles). One might think “oh its just a plastic bag”, but it isn’t JUST a plastic bag, its the environment and if everyone thinks in that way, we’re doomed. Suck it up and if no one wants to pay the 10cents, or even 1cents, then BRING YOUR OWN BAG!

  75. NoFear Says:

    Also considering the fact that the 10cents is “optional” just undermines the whole purpose of the bring your own bag idea.

    What Optional, for your info, I was force to give 10cent on wed. Lucky my wife bring her bag and we did not buy alot of things. the cashier say it is a mus to pay!

  76. NoFear Says:

    wow news almost every few days report plastic bag no longer used in europe. Bull shit, they need to buy the plastic bag to throw rubbish. those reuseable bag and basket also needs to buy. I live there before i noe. So much news? y? no sales? the solar thing no news liao? jus talk only. lol

  77. Freddie Tan Says:

    Aiyah, all rlong already.

    Hydrogen fuel cell is expensive to produce? Nonsense. Hydrogen fuel cell can be convert to electricity. Is the starting point that you need electric current to kicks off only. Thereafter can use ( hydrogen electricity ) to the water and produce more HHO and back to electricity. As long as there is water, can liao.

    These garment are very very rich now. You know the problem with rich ppl. Very sell fish one. And they only look at one side of the economy and never think out of the box. With hydrogen fuel cell + ………. They will gain lot of $$$$$$$$$$$$ and another number 1 in the world.

    To me, I only think for my next generation. They the very keep nice nice fish one.

    Plastic bag issue is so simple. But the reason behind it is very simple too. Rich ppl will not spend money for experiment or help the world if it does not have a profitable return. One simple word. Sell Fish !

    Idea I have a lot. Cert & $ I don’t have. Their eyes on cert only. So live with it lor.

  78. Plastic Bag II // the weblog of woonder Says:

    […] Plastic bags are banned in Rwanda. For a country that was just recently among the poorest in the African continent, it is extremely forward thinking in its green mindset, the banning of plastic bags among many other green initiatives that easily put many first world nations to shame. This is especially critical for Rwanda as it sets the foundation for its imminent rapid urbanization. […]

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