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Reducing plastic: H&M to charge 10 cents each for shopping bags in all Singapore stores

SINGAPORE — Fashion retailer H&M is joining the environmental battle to reduce single-use plastic bags and other packaging with a new charge of 10 cents each for shopping bags.

H&M hopes that charging 10 cents for each plastic or paper bag will reduce waste by encouraging shoppers to use their own bags.

H&M hopes that charging 10 cents for each plastic or paper bag will reduce waste by encouraging shoppers to use their own bags.

Singapore

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SINGAPORE — Fashion retailer H&M is joining the environmental battle to reduce single-use plastic bags and other packaging with a new charge of 10 cents each for shopping bags.

The initiative, which will start from July 25, is part of H&M’s “circular packaging strategy” to reduce the use of plastic in the long run, the firm said in a media release on Monday (July 15).

All proceeds collected from the charge for plastic and paper shopping bags will be donated to WWF Singapore’s Plastic ACTion (Pact) initiative — an industry-wide push for businesses to reduce plastic use by 2030.

As the first fashion retailer signatory to the Pact initiative, H&M said it is committed to eliminating unnecessary packaging, transitioning to reusable materials and using recycled plastic in its packaging by 2025.

Various firms in the food and beverage sector, as well as some hotels, have already signed on to the Pact initiative.

Major supermarket chains — including NTUC FairPrice, Sheng Siong, Dairy Farm Singapore Group and Prime Group — have started to reduce consumption of disposable plastic bags by encouraging customers to take fewer single-use plastic bags and opt for reusable bags instead.

Fast-food outlet Kentucky Fried Chicken has stopped issuing straws, while food delivery company Foodpanda gives customers the option to say no to disposable cutlery.

Both the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Singapore Management University (SMU) have also placed a straw ban on their respective campuses, while the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) introduced a 20-cent levy on each plastic bag issued by retailers on campus.

H&M's country manager of Southeast Asia, Mr Fredrik Famm, said: “To create a more sustainable fashion future, we need to take the lead by tackling some of the most significant challenges that are facing our planet and society.”

Customers are also encouraged to bring their own reusable bags or purchase them from any H&M stores if they do not already own one.

“Through this partnership with WWF Singapore, we want to encourage our customers to reduce waste and consequently find long-term sustainable solutions for our ecosystem,” Mr Famm added.

WWF Singapore’s chief executive officer Maureen DeRooij said H&M’s move comes at a “crucial time”.

“Excessive plastic use and mismanaged disposal has contributed to a pollution crisis that impacts all of us,” she said. “A bag charge, proven to be effective in reducing plastic use, is a crucial step that retail businesses can take to stop plastic pollution.”

Related topics

H&M shopping bags plastic pollution

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