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Singaporeans obsession with Plastic bags

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rajagainstthemachine
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Postby rajagainstthemachine » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 12:14 am

JR8 wrote:
rajagainstthemachine wrote:but for dry rubbish like paper, dust, wrappers etc you could use a paper bag.


Paper isn't rubbish, you're supposed to recycle it.


rajagainstthemachine wrote:Solution: get supermarkets to give away paper bags instead of plastic bags for dry goods, that turns into an easy biodegradable resource which can be recyled quite easily.


Biodegradable and recyclable? I'm confused again. The former requires land-filling it, the latter recycling it. They would seem to be polar opposites.

rajagainstthemachine wrote:My pictures seem to signify the fact that us humans are inundating ourself in plastic. :-|



The first one appears to show a vagrant wrapped up in plastic bags. The second one shows a PET recycling plant. I'm unclear how either shows 'us humans inundating ourself under plastic'. Unless you're trying to do the socialist 'We're all guilty' shtick.


1. you cannot recycle the paper you see around you, i was referring to the bits and pieces of paper you chuck in a bin, you dont need to chuck that in a plastic bag .. you could you chuck into a paper bag too.

2. when you use products which are environmentally friendly you would like them to be both recyclable and biodegradable. they arent polar opposites they complement each other.

3. there is no point in explaining pictures to people who cannot decipher them, maybe you should ignore the pictures if it confuses you.

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Postby rajagainstthemachine » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 12:18 am

JR8 wrote:Oh, and you appear to be advocating single-use wood products that you can't recycle and have to landfill/incinerate.

Versus

Plastic bags which as LDPE you can recycle.
[Reference: http://www.zerowastesg.com/2008/12/08/p ... recycling/ ]

So you're for single-use non-reclyable products and anti recyclable plastic bags?

Doh, your position is mighty confusing!


they are palm fronds which can be decomposed and used as fertilizer.
sheesh.
not all plastic bags are LDPE based only bags which are more than 50 microns thick can be recycled
i also think you need to read what i post. i never suggested a ban on plastic nor is my stance anti. plastic..i think i need to underline the word
judicious use


*waits for JR8 to come back with 5 more questions which would beat around the bush with no meaningful input*

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 1:35 am

http://www.zerowastesg.com/can-recycle/
You can recycle plastic bags. Indeed the examples illustrated include an NTUC bag.


http://www.zerowastesg.com/2008/12/08/s ... g-at-home/
I don’t see anything about collecting ‘garden waste’ for recycling. Oh, unless you’re suggesting having a compost heap. I don’t think most people would want a compost heap in their home though, do you?

rajagainstthemachine wrote:1. you cannot recycle the paper you see around you,


Yes you can.


rajagainstthemachine wrote:2. when you use products which are environmentally friendly you would like them to be both recyclable and biodegradable. they arent polar opposites they complement each other.


Almost everything is ultimately biodegradable, but I imagine you mean 'biodegradable within a short space of time'. But something like a aluminium can must be the pinnacle of worthwhile recycling. It takes a huge amount of energy to produce, and very little to recycle. Aluminium is one thing I'm all for recycling.

One thing Alu is far away from though is being biodegradable. Glass is similar in this respect. In Europe a lot of bottles carry deposits and they are re-used. Non-returnable bottles are ground into 'building sand' and is widely used in roadworks.


rajagainstthemachine wrote:3. there is no point in explaining pictures to people who cannot decipher them, maybe you should ignore the pictures if it confuses you.


The only thing that is confusing is that you seem to suggest the pictures confer guilt, whereas 'bag man' suggests to me a vagrant who wishes to keep dry, and the pile of bottles suggests the (arguable) virtue of recycling. Neither however suggest to me the 'mass guilt' that you imply we should feel.


Edit to add:
We used to have a vagrant who lived near us in Singapore. He tied flattened cardboard boxes around himself with string, and he'd walk around like that, dressed neck to toe in corrugated cardboard. We used to call him 'Box-man'. I wonder which has the better solution, Box-man, or the bag-man in your posted images. :)

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Postby the lynx » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 9:32 am

Too many back-and-forth here in this thread but I'd say yes to biodegradable plastic bags and paper-based food containers.

Using plastic bags for rubbish is the cleanest way to go, as long as it is biodegradable.

Paper-based food containers will do well for 'dry' food but people'd still resort to hard plastic containers for soupy meals.

I'm actually an environment-advocate myself but I draw a line between practicability and insanity:
1. I bring my own food container to pack meals.
2. I bring cloth or canvas bag for grocery shopping but I will occasionally take plastic bags as long as I know that those are biodegradable (because I prefer my non-recyclable trash bagged up properly).
3. I really separate my trash and I really make use of the recycling bins near my place.

Short of making compost from organic trash, though.

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Postby rajagainstthemachine » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 4:42 pm

JR8 wrote:http://www.zerowastesg.com/can-recycle/
You can recycle plastic bags. Indeed the examples illustrated include an NTUC bag.


http://www.zerowastesg.com/2008/12/08/s ... g-at-home/
I don’t see anything about collecting ‘garden waste’ for recycling. Oh, unless you’re suggesting having a compost heap. I don’t think most people would want a compost heap in their home though, do you?

rajagainstthemachine wrote:1. you cannot recycle the paper you see around you,


Yes you can.


rajagainstthemachine wrote:2. when you use products which are environmentally friendly you would like them to be both recyclable and biodegradable. they arent polar opposites they complement each other.


Almost everything is ultimately biodegradable, but I imagine you mean 'biodegradable within a short space of time'. But something like a aluminium can must be the pinnacle of worthwhile recycling. It takes a huge amount of energy to produce, and very little to recycle. Aluminium is one thing I'm all for recycling.

One thing Alu is far away from though is being biodegradable. Glass is similar in this respect. In Europe a lot of bottles carry deposits and they are re-used. Non-returnable bottles are ground into 'building sand' and is widely used in roadworks.


rajagainstthemachine wrote:3. there is no point in explaining pictures to people who cannot decipher them, maybe you should ignore the pictures if it confuses you.


The only thing that is confusing is that you seem to suggest the pictures confer guilt, whereas 'bag man' suggests to me a vagrant who wishes to keep dry, and the pile of bottles suggests the (arguable) virtue of recycling. Neither however suggest to me the 'mass guilt' that you imply we should feel.


Edit to add:
We used to have a vagrant who lived near us in Singapore. He tied flattened cardboard boxes around himself with string, and he'd walk around like that, dressed neck to toe in corrugated cardboard. We used to call him 'Box-man'. I wonder which has the better solution, Box-man, or the bag-man in your posted images. :)


1. no you cant! its singularly impossible unless you segregate your rubbish into organic, inorganic and paper waste which I believe none of us currently do in Singapore except in 1 or 2 malls

2. In India they use plastic bags which cannot be recycled and mix it with bitumen and use it for road laying
watch the video
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xbssh6 ... Pz-qUcZkbM


3. the real reason i posted that picture of the guy wrapped in plastic is because thats how i'm starting to feel when i go shopping and i have this huge pile of plastic bags in my kitchen and its starting to choke my life :?

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Postby rajagainstthemachine » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 4:47 pm

Personally I do the following, Veolia - the garbage company issues a plastic bag to put recycled rubbish.
I fill it with cans, plastic milk cans, glass bottles, newspapers.
segregate waste into organic and inorganic waste and carry a cloth bag whenever I go shopping.
I've always liked Singapore as a clean green city and I'd like to see it that way and the other thing that irks me is when people start littering. :x
leaving a unfinished drink here and there.

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Postby morenangpinay » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 6:14 pm

When i went home to my country last year I was pleasantly surprised that the city where I live has implemented an ordinance which implemented rules regulating the use of plastic bags and styrofoam.it mandates all business establishments to limit the issuance of plastic bags by 1) requesting for fee for each plastic bag requested by consumer, and 2 ) asking the consumers to bring their own bags/reusable or plastic.

Whenever I had plans to buy something I didn't have a choice but to bring my own bag and I also saw all my family members and relatives bringing their bags every time they go out just in case they buy something. I mean they just have it in their bags ready.

but i did notice the excessive use of plastic in Singapore when I came over. I dont know if the same idea would work here tho..fee for each plastic bag.

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Postby beppi » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 6:27 pm

Paper is recyclable, but will be recycled only when you give it to the Karung Guni man or throw it into the (rare in Singapore) recycling bin.
Paper thrown into the chute together with other garbage, i.e. when used as garbage bag, will just be burned and then is not much better than plastic bags for the same purpose.
I always carry a cloth shopping bag and decline to use plastic, but I seem to be the only one.

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 7:34 pm

The place I lived had four big recycling roller-bins in the ground floor car-park. Two for paper, one for glass, the other for Alu.

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Postby snowqueen » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 10:04 pm

I also found the over-use of plastic bags quite disturbing, especially when it was to put one jar of Prego in a bag, my bananas in another and cereals in another etc. I'm quite happy for everything to be thrown in one bag, and when you tell the cashier this they looks at you as if you are from another planet.

I now take cloth bags with me when I go food shopping but when I'm getting a bit low on plastic bags for my rubbish, I do leave them at home so I can stock up.

I'm very big on recycling and I think more than 50% of my rubbish gets recycled - all plastic, paper, metal and glass.

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Postby snowqueen » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 10:10 pm

One other thing, I went to have a drink at Coffee Bean the new Tampines 1 mall last week - ordered my coffee and toast and noticed that they were pouring my drink into a takeaway cup. When I explained I was eating in, they said that all their food and drinks are served in takeaway cups and plates regardless as they do not have any washing up facilities.

I said that wasn't very environmentally friendly but they just shrugged my comment off. I suppose it's not much different to any other takeaway like McDonalds etc but it did bother me. The plastic plates and cutlery are quite thick quality and probably not biodegradable so thinking about how much rubbish they are going to create is a little concerning to me.

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Postby Travailes » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 10:46 pm

Like many on here I got fed up with cashiers placing individual items in individual bags. That can only be explained as a training or cultural thing so can be undone if this country is serious about recycling. My solution is to use cardboard boxes for my shopping. There are often plenty in store and I have a couple at home. Better than those canvas sacks as you end up needing about 5 of those for an average shop. I stick it straight in the trolley and pack it myself as the cashier scans the items. Yes - they find it strange but I don't care ! Re lack of bags at home - I recycle what we can and just use the odd bag we do pick up for the wet waste that the dog can't eat.

My observation is that many items here are overpackaged. There are some apples on sale in CS currently which are individually wrapped in some sort sort of foam then sat in a plastic tray and then wrapped in cellophane. Crazy.
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 11:08 pm

Yeah, but it slows down the auntie fruit pincher/poker/bruisers though! :P

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Postby rajagainstthemachine » Mon, 21 Jan 2013 11:12 pm

I agree with both snowqueen and travailes overpackaging seems to be the norm for a lot of products these days.

I stopped buying vegetables/fruits from supermarkets and choose to buy them from places like tekka market instead.
I carry my own cloth bag with me in such cases, the smaller shops seem quite pleased about people getting their own bags.

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Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 22 Jan 2013 9:13 am

You people would hate me then. I ask them to re-pour my coffee into take-away cups at Starbucks even when I'm staying there. At Mannings (like Watsons) in HK this weekend they wanted .50 HKD for a plastic bag. I said to give me two then as I didn't want to carry around a .50 HKD coin :(

I was living in the SF Bay area when SJ, San Jose, and a host of other nearby cities all decided to ban the use of plastic bags. There were a lot of interesting counter arguments coming out (with 'stats' to back them up) that plastic bags were more environmentally friendly due to the amount of energy and resources required to create one plastic bag vs one paper bag, and the recycling options available for plastic bags. (You couldn't walk 20m in Northern California without tripping over something made from recycled plastic bags and/or tires). No idea how valid it is, since both sides in these types of debate are so filled with hyperbole. I mean, Top Gear 'proved' a new Hummer was/is more environmentally sound that a Prius when you factor in the battery manufacturing.


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