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Plastic bag charge at selected FairPrice outlets extended for another year after 'positive customer response'

Plastic bag charge at selected FairPrice outlets extended for another year after 'positive customer response'

File photo of an NTUC FairPrice outlet. (Photo: FairPrice)

SINGAPORE: A plastic bag charge at more than 20 NTUC FairPrice supermarkets and convenience stores will be extended for another year from Nov 12 "following positive customer response".

The year-long pilot of a plastic bag charge at the 25 stores saved 15.6 million plastic bags, and saw about 7.8 million bring-your-own-bag transactions, said the supermarket giant in a press release on Wednesday (Nov 11).

The same stores, except one that has been converted to a dedicated online fulfilment centre, will be involved in the extension.

Plastic bags will cost the same after the pilot - S$0.20 and S$0.10 per transaction at the supermarkets (FairPrice, FairPrice Finest, FairPrice Xtra) and convenience stores (Cheers, FairPrice Xpress) respectively. 

About S$600,000 was raised from the plastic bag charges, and this will go towards supporting environmental and community causes, said FairPrice.

READ: Plastic bag charge “not a small step for Singapore” NTUC CEO

About seven in 10 customers who shopped at the participating supermarket outlets chose to bring their own bags or refused plastic bags. Nine in 10 customers did the same at the participating Cheers and Fairprice Xpress outlets. 

Responding to CNA's queries on why the plastic bag charge was not extended to more or all of FairPrice's outlets despite its success, a spokesperson said while the majority of customers chose to bring their own bags or refused plastic bags, the supermarket also recognises that such a habit "takes time to nurture". 

"Adopting a targeted approach where we included selected stores islandwide allows us to take a more measured and balanced approach," the spokesperson added. 

"The 'No Plastic Bag' initiative is part of the FairPrice Plastic Bag Management Programme which aims to reduce excessive use of plastic bags and at the same time encourage a behavioural change in customers," said FairPrice Group CEO Seah Kian Peng.

"We are encouraged by the positive customer response garnered; the significant number of plastic bags saved in this short span of one year is a testimony of the greater public awareness for the environment."

While the majority of customers were supportive of the plastic bag charge, there were others who demanded excessive plastic bags after paying for them, said FairPrice in the press release. 

“We are thankful to customers for their support and understanding towards this sustainability effort. Regardless of the challenges that we face, we remain committed to the cause and we encourage more retailers to join us in making a collective effort towards reducing plastic bag use,” said Mr Seah. 

FairPrice says it is currently the only supermarket chain in Singapore to charge for plastic bags. 

The participating outlets are:  

- FairPrice Xtra @ Hougang One

- FairPrice Extra @ Kallang Wave Mall

- FairPrice Finest @ 100AM

- FairPrice Finest @ Zhong Shan Park

- FairPrice Finest @ Paya Lebar Quarter

- FairPrice Finest @ Terminal 3

- FairPrice Finest @ Funan

- FairPrice Finest @ Bukit Timah Plaza

- FairPrice Finest @ Valley Point

- FairPrice @ Coronation Plaza

- FairPrice @ Tai Seng

- Cheers at 1 Create Way

- Cheers at Sengkang Community Hospital

- Cheers at Tanah Merah MRT Station

- Cheers at FairPrice Hub

- Cheers at Caribbean at Keppel Bay

- Cheers at 611 Aljunied Road

- Cheers at 174 Holland Road

- Cheers at 30 Dunearn Road

- Cheers at 141 Bukit Timah Road

- Cheers at 751 Bukit Timah Road

- Cheers at 650 Dunearn Road

- Cheers at 870 Dunearn Road

- FairPrice Xpress at 384 Lorong Chuan

Source: CNA/hw(ac)

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