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Things I've yet to understand about Singapore

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Mary Hatch Bailey
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Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Tue, 08 Nov 2005 8:08 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
yoongf wrote:I am so curious..

As a typical local grown up with plastic bags, I reuse the shopping bags to dispose of my daily garbage. There is no massive buildup of bags in my home.

I would think it's a real mess throwing stuff down the chute without bagging them. Isn't that the standard practice among the expats too?


Actually, I've stayed clear of the plastic bag discussion for exactly the same reason. If you use the NTUC plastic bags for your garbage they fit just nicely into the standard refuse chute in your flat. If we don't get them shopping then we have to actually pay for the things. They could use biodegradable plactic bags however.


This reminds me a funny story. When I lived at Four Seasons Park, right when it first opened, the Management company had a 'revolving door' on it as they could never find anyone to run the place for more than a few months. As a result, they were forever sending out unintentionally funny memos to the residents.

One such missive kindly asked 'the residents to stop throwing heavy objects down the refuse shoot as it was injuring the cleaners'. I lived on the 27th floor, so presumably anything when hurled down 27 floors would certainly feel heavy when it met with an immovable object, like one of the cleaners.

But of course, here's the thing -- when we threw our spent orchids, (in the pots mind you), down the shoot or wine bottles -- we had no idea there might be a person below! We just liked to listen to the satisfying sound such objects made as they bounced their way down the aluminum shoot.

Without telling us, with out closing the chutes, without telling their cleaners of the potential risk, in the middle of the day, they would send people into the collection area where 70+ apartment's worth of trash would come hurdling down at unpredictible times and injurious speeds. And then try to blame us.

Needless to say that management company did not last long. :wink:

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 08 Nov 2005 9:37 am

OUCH!

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Postby micknlea » Tue, 08 Nov 2005 10:24 am

yoongf wrote:I am so curious..

As a typical local grown up with plastic bags, I reuse the shopping bags to dispose of my daily garbage. There is no massive buildup of bags in my home.

I would think it's a real mess throwing stuff down the chute without bagging them. Isn't that the standard practice among the expats too?


Yes, we use them in the same way, but its just that the sheer volume of bags exceeds the amount of rubbish to be put in them! We even use two bags at a time and I have heaps left over. Every couple of weeks I throw out a bag full of bags.

I don't know about you but the five of us simply do not create enough rubbish to fill the bags we get in any given week.

This is especially true if you recycle all the plastic bottles etc and not put them in the rubbish.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 08 Nov 2005 10:43 am

micknlea wrote:
yoongf wrote:I am so curious..

As a typical local grown up with plastic bags, I reuse the shopping bags to dispose of my daily garbage. There is no massive buildup of bags in my home.

I would think it's a real mess throwing stuff down the chute without bagging them. Isn't that the standard practice among the expats too?


Yes, we use them in the same way, but its just that the sheer volume of bags exceeds the amount of rubbish to be put in them! We even use two bags at a time and I have heaps left over. Every couple of weeks I throw out a bag full of bags.

I don't know about you but the five of us simply do not create enough rubbish to fill the bags we get in any given week.

This is especially true if you recycle all the plastic bottles etc and not put them in the rubbish.


Got 6 in my home and we are always running out. Want to borrow my family for a while? :mrgreen: (you get the food bill as well.)

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Postby yoongf » Tue, 08 Nov 2005 10:49 am

micknlea wrote:
Yes, we use them in the same way, but its just that the sheer volume of bags exceeds the amount of rubbish to be put in them! We even use two bags at a time and I have heaps left over. Every couple of weeks I throw out a bag full of bags.

I don't know about you but the five of us simply do not create enough rubbish to fill the bags we get in any given week.

This is especially true if you recycle all the plastic bottles etc and not put them in the rubbish.


I guess it's a matter of lifestyle. My household of 5 averages about 10 bags per week from NTUC, and on average, 1 bag goes out daily as the trashbag, and when it's time to replace all the bin liners, more often than not, I run out of bags.

From my observation, expats shopping carts tend to be more loaded than locals, and with more frozen foods, which tend to be packed individually. Locals also shop at wet markets, and they use those small light red plastic bags that really has no reusable value.

Anyway, all Sg trash is incinerated, so the issue of bio-degrading naturally does not arise.

Also, plastic is more common than paper simply because there are no local paper mill industries. However, a huge petrochemical industry exists, and that provides cheap plastic raw materials.

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Postby scoots » Tue, 08 Nov 2005 3:43 pm

yoongf wrote:
micknlea wrote:
Yes, we use them in the same way, but its just that the sheer volume of bags exceeds the amount of rubbish to be put in them! We even use two bags at a time and I have heaps left over. Every couple of weeks I throw out a bag full of bags.

I don't know about you but the five of us simply do not create enough rubbish to fill the bags we get in any given week.

This is especially true if you recycle all the plastic bottles etc and not put them in the rubbish.


I guess it's a matter of lifestyle. My household of 5 averages about 10 bags per week from NTUC, and on average, 1 bag goes out daily as the trashbag, and when it's time to replace all the bin liners, more often than not, I run out of bags.

From my observation, expats shopping carts tend to be more loaded than locals, and with more frozen foods, which tend to be packed individually. Locals also shop at wet markets, and they use those small light red plastic bags that really has no reusable value.

Anyway, all Sg trash is incinerated, so the issue of bio-degrading naturally does not arise.

Also, plastic is more common than paper simply because there are no local paper mill industries. However, a huge petrochemical industry exists, and that provides cheap plastic raw materials.


Plastic bags are definetly cheaper than paper - incinerating platic bags is not a good answer as it is more harmful to the environment than putting all the plastic bags into a landfill. But neither is producing millions of barrels of oil, but who is going to take those bastards on??? :-|

On the subject of biodegrable plastic bags, there is no such thing even though lots of stores want you to beleive you are getting biodegradable platic bags (which you are) they do not work for the simple reason that once they go into landfill, they dont get oxygen or UV light, the 2 primary ingrediants to break down the 'biodegradble plastic bag'. Incinerating them in this case, seems to make logical sense, just not environmental sense.

Have any locals seen the reusable 'green' bags as they are often refered too? They are made out of calaco or similar cotton materials and are very strong, very reusable and you can fit heaps into them. Very common and popular in Australia and it is starting just now to get a culture that if you dont use the 'green bag' when at the register, you will get nasty stares and even the checkout clerk will give you daggers :? Had to start somewhere...
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Postby micknlea » Tue, 08 Nov 2005 6:38 pm

Well, just got back from the supermarket...9 plastic bags later, and only because I refused 2 (one for nappies and one for kitty litter) otherwise we would have had 11 and this was only a half full trolley if that.

I must admit its my fault, as I have the green bags but just keep forgetting to take them with me here :oops: (it was second nature in both HK and Oz).
Maybe it is the weird and wonderful stares that I get at the check out when I try to use them that puts makes me forget :mrgreen:

You're right Scoots, it is just a matter of time and people getting used to it...if they can do it in HK they can do it here! OK...it is only just sort of catching on over there but it is there.

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Re: Things I've yet to understand about Singapore

Postby IrishinSing » Wed, 09 Nov 2005 2:31 pm

Cheekybeek wrote:2. infinite amount of plastic bags, soooo bad for the environment.


I actually brought by own sturdy green canvas bags from Dublin. The kids who work in Cold Storage know me now and they just pile my stuff up for me to pack my self.

However one little thing always happens. No matter when I put my bread on the conveyor, front or back (even hidden behind the cornflakes)... it is the first thing to be handed to me.

Inevitably, I end up holding it in one hand so I don;t put it at the bottom of any bag.

This is not a Singaporean thing, but a factor of having 16 year olds packing groceries !

Aw well... mushed bread tastes abotu the same..... kinda.
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Postby Rose_YG » Wed, 09 Nov 2005 2:47 pm

Even though i'm a local here... it can be really frustrating when these people are on escalators... there should have a system- stand on one side and let others pass by... (a good thing this has been in practice in europe!)


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Postby Spunky » Thu, 10 Nov 2005 11:01 am

Rose_YG wrote:Even though i'm a local here... it can be really frustrating when these people are on escalators... there should have a system- stand on one side and let others pass by... (a good thing this has been in practice in europe!)
YG


Ideally, YES! not that we don't try but somehow that doesn't seem to work here. And I think I know why.

If we follow the traffic convention, then the slower or static ones should keep to the left. But, unfortuntely, when u r downtown, alot of people don't come from countries with righthand drive. So they naturally keep to the right.... :???:

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Postby Rose_YG » Thu, 10 Nov 2005 11:45 am

Still it is frustrating trying to weave my way through...

'excuse me' .... 'excuse me'...'excuse ,me pls'

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Postby Jani » Thu, 10 Nov 2005 2:30 pm

pyjamas in swimming pools are usually those who take up swimming courses, normally those young kids who are learning for silver or something..some survival skills..

lot of plastic bags because they have to separate different food items. Been always like this in singapore. What you can do is to tell the cashier to put everything in the bag or even best, bring your own carrier...I think they are caught in both situations - some people complain if they don't give enuff, some complain they give too much

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Postby Cheekybeek » Fri, 11 Nov 2005 10:57 am

Rose_YG wrote:Even though i'm a local here... it can be really frustrating when these people are on escalators... there should have a system- stand on one side and let others pass by... (a good thing this has been in practice in europe!)
YG


Uh huh I agree, but one thing worse is when getting off the MRT NO ONE stands clear of the doors- everyone tries to push on to the train even when I am carrying 10 bags of groceries. I find this rude and can't help myself but push through people to get off the train. Particularly annoying at Boonlay station where every passenger is trying to get off and the train waits at the station for more than 5 mins so no rush to get on is necessary.

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Postby Rose_YG » Fri, 11 Nov 2005 1:32 pm

Cheekybeek wrote:
Rose_YG wrote:Even though i'm a local here... it can be really frustrating when these people are on escalators... there should have a system- stand on one side and let others pass by... (a good thing this has been in practice in europe!)
YG


Uh huh I agree, but one thing worse is when getting off the MRT NO ONE stands clear of the doors- everyone tries to push on to the train even when I am carrying 10 bags of groceries. I find this rude and can't help myself but push through people to get off the train. Particularly annoying at Boonlay station where every passenger is trying to get off and the train waits at the station for more than 5 mins so no rush to get on is necessary.



Agreed... Locals call this act - 'kiasu'ism


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Postby EADG » Sun, 13 Nov 2005 11:20 am

Mary Hatch Bailey wrote:I have had to get used to 'take away' here because in the States it is always 'to go'. Never heard 'bag it', and frankly seems rather counter productive considering...


plus `bag it` is something completely different in our vernacular
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