Consumers may have to pay five to 10 cents for disposable bags at supermarkets from 2023

The proposed policy aims to reduce excessive consumption of disposables in Singapore.

Charlotte Chang

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Published: 28 January 2022, 12:28 PM

Consumers may have to pay five to 10 cents for a disposable bag at supermarkets from mid-2023, based on a proposed policy from the National Environment Agency (NEA). 

This is to discourage excessive use of disposable bags and encourage the use of reusables to reduce waste, said the NEA on Thursday (Jan 27).

The bag charge will contribute to the Singapore Green Plan 2030, which aims to reduce the amount of waste to landfill per capita per day by 30 per cent by 2030, said NEA.

As part of developing this policy, the Ministry of Sustainability and Environment (MSE) and NEA gathered 55 members of the public from different backgrounds in September 2020 for a Citizens’ Workgroup to share their recommendations on reducing excessive consumption of disposables in Singapore. 

In Jan 2021, the group gave its suggestions, which included a charge on disposable bags. 

After three months of careful deliberation, MSE and NEA announced the responses in April 2021, and NEA agreed to develop an appropriate charging model for disposable bags at supermarkets islandwide.

According to the proposed policy, a minimum charge of five to 10 cents per bag will be implemented at a majority of supermarkets in Singapore. Consumers who opt to purchase their groceries online will not face this charge as there is no use of disposable bags involved.

The charge will take effect by the first half of 2023, if the policy is passed. 

NEA is seeking feedback and suggestions from the public on topics such as the proposed charging model, amount to be charged, coverage of the scheme, and the implementation timeline. 

The deadline for feedback and suggestions is Feb 17.

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