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23 July 2018

FairPrice introduces holistic framework to reduce plastic bag use

  • NTUC FairPrice will also donate S$50,000 to support Singapore Environment Council (SEC) and Zero Waste SG in their efforts to promote sustainable practices
  • FairPrice’s Green Rewards Scheme will cease on 1 August 2018
  • Resources will be redirected to the ‘FairPrice Plastic Bag Management Programme’, a newly developed framework to effect greater change in plastic bag waste management efforts and aims to save 30 million plastic bags per annum by 2030

SINGAPORE, 23 July 2018 – NTUC FairPrice (FairPrice) today announced the launch of the ‘FairPrice Plastic Bag Management Programme’, a framework that looks to holistically reduce plastic bag use, which will replace the existing FairPrice Green Rewards scheme. To support national efforts to reduce plastic bag use, FairPrice will donate $50,000 to the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) and Zero Waste SG to fund their sustainability efforts.

Mr Seah Kian Peng, CEO, NTUC FairPrice said, “For more than a decade, FairPrice has championed the BYOB movement in Singapore where we have invested over $4 million - through the FairPrice Green Rewards scheme - to urge the community to use less plastic bags. We will continue to drive this national initiative and focus on a holistic and scalable framework that aims to address the wider impact of plastic bag use on the environment, while taking into consideration customer needs and habits. Through this renewed commitment, we look to galvanise the community, industry partners, interest groups and government agencies to create a greater collective impact in protecting our environment.”

Ms Jen Teo, Executive Director, Singapore Environment Council said, “We are very grateful for this long-term collaboration and partnership with NTUC FairPrice towards SEC’s call for action for joint sustainable programmes. The BYOB programme, which started over a decade ago, has resulted in a remarkable reduction of plastic bags use. We shall be announcing many new joint programmes shortly and look forward to working closely with NTUC FairPrice to continue our efforts in 3P partnerships connecting businesses, communities, school and individuals to take action.”

Ms Pek Hai Lin, Manager, Zero Waste SG commented, “We are heartened to learn about FairPrice's continued efforts to reduce the use of plastic bags and packaging. With the donation, we will work together with FairPrice on this journey to engage customers and staff.”

Limited Effectiveness of FairPrice Green Rewards Scheme

The ‘FairPrice Plastic Bag Management Programme’ was developed following a review, conducted earlier this year, of the existing FairPrice Green Rewards Scheme, which offers customers a 10-cent rebate when they bring their own bags to shop at FairPrice stores.

While there has been an increase in the number of plastic bags saved since the FairPrice Green Rewards Scheme was introduced in 2007, progress has plateaued out – averaging at about 10.8 million bags saved per year in the last three years.

In an effort to boost performance and further the objective to reduce plastic bag usage, the FairPrice Green Rewards Scheme will cease on 1 August 2018 across all FairPrice formats and will be replaced with the ‘FairPrice Plastic Bag Management Programme’. Customer notices will be put up to inform customers of the change and in-store collaterals will be progressively replaced.

Target to save 30 million plastic bags per year by 2030

The ‘FairPrice Plastic Bag Management Programme’, targets to save 30 million plastic bags per annum by 2030. Last year, over 11.5 million plastic bags were saved.

The new four-pronged Plastic Bag Management Programme will involve the following aspects:

Internal Processes where policies and practices to trim plastic packaging in operations will be implemented. Enhanced environmentally-friendly bagging practices will also be introduced for cashiers.

Public Education programmes will be launched to engage shoppers to reduce use of plastic bags and embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle. Plans involve working with both governmental and non-governmental organisations to jointly produce and implement education efforts. An upcoming public education campaign FairPrice will support includes a Zero Waste SG campaign in the fourth quarter of this year to raise awareness of BYOB.

Partnerships involve increased investment and continued support for whole-of-nation efforts to reduce plastic bag use. FairPrice is currently working with Nanyang Polytechnic to activate students from the Nanyang Polytechnic Foundation Programme to design a reusable bag for public distribution. Beyond this, FairPrice will also work with suppliers and manufacturers to explore better packaging design and material.

Donations will be made to organisations who exemplify efforts to promote sustainable practices locally, funding both collaborative efforts between FairPrice and these organisations and/or their own similar agendas. FairPrice has since committed $50,000 to SEC and Zero Waste SG to support their sustainability efforts. Donations will be reviewed annually. 

More details of the programme will be revealed later where FairPrice expects to launch and champion several initiatives in-line with this initiative.

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