Bring your own what? Bags?

I almost forgot that today is the first Wednesday of the month until my colleague told me about it. Which explains the exceptionally short queue at NTUC during lunch time today. It’s Bring your own bag day every first Wednesday of the month. I guess many people avoided groceries shopping today.

I went to Holland V cold storage after work today. Wanted to buy something. Luckily for me, its something small which I can easily put inside my bag. As I was queuing up, I notice that nobody bought their own bags along. Everyone is using plastic bags from cold storage and donating a small fee to charity. The lady infront of me didn’t even put a single cent into the metal tin and walked away with 3 plastic bag.

The cashier smiled at me and thanked me when I told her that I don’t need a bag. While waiting for my change, I had a quick chat with her.

Me: So how was the respond to this bring your own bag day?
Cashier: Very good. *Smile*
Me: Good? But if you look around, everyone still taking plastic bags. I don’t see anyone with their own bags.
Cashier: Oh, there are quite a lot of shoppers who bring their own bags earlier today.
Me: Oh….

Somehow, I got this feeling that her respond wasn’t very honest. Was she instructed to reply in this manner? I mean, just take a quick glance and you can see that this bring your own bag day isn’t as successful as the media has portrayed. I was already quite skeptical when I saw the news few weeks ago.

A FairPrice spokesperson estimated that by evening, it had sold up to 10,000 reusable bags, and given out 30 to 80 per cent fewer plastic bags. Giant said it sold more than 3,600 reusable bags since the initiative was announced last week, while Cold Storage’s figure was over 2,000.

NEA chief executive Lee Yuen Hee was “very encouraged by the positive response” and looked forward to having more retailers on board.

Really that good meh? I don’t believe.

Since I have lots of spare time, I decided to do some Citizen Journalism. I stood at the entrance of Holland V Cold Storage and see how many people bring their own bags and how many didn’t. I found a position where I can see the cashier clearly and decided that I’ll just take a small 5 minute sample. Armed with my PDA, I start taking notes.

Everyone was using plastic bags from cold storage. What happened to bring your own bag day? 2 minutes pass and finally I saw a chinese lady with a green reusable bag. Bring your own bag scored one…. but Never bing your own bag was already far ahead.

2 more minutes passed, still no sign of people using their own bags. Everyone is taking the cold storage plastic bag like today is a normal day. Then I saw a ang moh gentleman putting his purchases into his backpack. But he bought too many things and couldn’t fit everything into his backpack. So he took 1 plastic bag from cold storage. I guess I’ll give that score to Bring your own bag team. Good effort anyway. 🙂

Full Time score at the end of 5 minute:-

Bring your own bag 2 – 24 Never bring your own bag

So this is the so called “positive response”.

Maybe it was the wrong crowd. I was there between 8:30 to 8:35pm. The crowd is mostly working adults who just got off from work. Don’t think many people would bring their own bag to work. Maybe the cashier was speaking the truth. Perhaps the response is better in the afternoon when the housewives and maids do their shopping. Anyone free to do this on a Wednesday afternoon?


As I was leaving, I was another lady taking out her own plastic bag for the groceries. Although it’s full time already, but maybe I’ll be kind this time.

Final score after moderation:
Bring your own bag 3 – 24 Never bring your own bag


  1. tstar: Its alrite. 🙂

    d’nightie: Si Iris. Don’t think you change nick I don’t know its you. SIMI bo liao? I only spend 5 minutes mah. 😛

  2. we live in a place where 66% is considered a strong mandate. so perhaps 10% in this case can be considered positive response.

  3. I think they should really make it like they have in some parts of Europe.

    If you need a bag from the supermarket, you can only buy paper bags (bio-degradable) and those are really expensive ~$1-$2 per bag.

    Then people will start using their own bags.

  4. Now asking them to pay 10 cent they already complain here and there. $1 per bag? You want their life ah? haha…

  5. You very free hor?

    Anyway 5 minutes is not enough to do a survey and the result doesn’t reflect the actual situation. Unfair.

    Dun try this on girlfriends.

  6. hey, DK, hitting on the cashier-gal izzit??

    Well.. actually it doesnt really matter to me how positive the response is, wat matter is you already did ur part, and at least there are 3 ppl (within 5 mins) who bother to BYOB. A small step can leads to bigger success.

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