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Use own containers for takeaways, instead of relying on plastic and styrofoam boxes

Earlier this week, TODAY reader Chua Chye Wah called for greater efforts to discourage the use of styrofoam boxes used for takeaways in Singapore. Most readers agreed with the call.

Earlier this week, TODAY reader Chua Chye Wah called for greater efforts to discourage the use of styrofoam boxes used for takeaways in Singapore. Most readers agreed with the call, with many suggesting that Singaporeans should bring their own containers for takeaways. Some however say that could be a hassle and food sellers should instead do more to use paper boxes. 

I agree. We’re years and years behind as a first-world country in terms of environmental efforts ROGER NG 

Absolutely...why talk about climate change without changing our way of living. Use wood and bamboo products instead of plastics. RAINAH RAIS 

I support this move. It's about time we bring our own container or food vendor can start using recycled paper box. FANG ZONG JIE

Giving discounts to consumers who bring own container will greatly encourage the reduction in the use of plastic and styrofoam containers. SENGLEE CHOONG

I don’t get discount but I’ll still try to bring my own containers whenever possible. I do it for my kids and future generations. CATHERINE CHUNG 

I am toying the idea of using my own fork and spoon and mug, it’s more healthy but find it troublesome to bring along. CHIEN RONNIE 

There are some hawkers stall who refuse to let customers use their own containers, citing hygiene reasons. I think they want to use the container themselves to charge additional 20 cents more. CLIFFORD NG 

For practical reasons, we cannot be carrying our own containers every time. If styrofoam is not healthy or environmental friendly, a more practicable way is for people to invent a biodegradable/healthy lunchbox. PANSY CHOW

Consider making food boxes out of hard cardboard or sugarcane fibre for non soupy food, it’s not possible to always carry a lunch box when we go out. LOY HJON

People should bring their tupperware and bring them back home to’s easy to bring your own, one just has to plan a bit more that’s all. ANGELA TAKANO

We should strictly ban all unrecyclable products. And have a high environment tax on all these manufacturers. All businesses must behave responsibly for our future. CHRIS LIM

Hope the businesses who use or produce styrofoam boxes take note of this and prepare ahead. MOHAMAD SYAHID ARIF 

I saw a documentary that said the carbon footprint of styrofoam boxes/cups is smaller than that of paper boxes/cups. In Singapore, we burn all non-recyclables. Paper cups and boxes meant for food has a waterproof plastic lining, making them non-recyclable. So they’ll all get burnt anyway. And our burning systems filters out any toxic gases that comes from burning. So at the end of the day, it pretty much comes down to carbon footprint during the manufacturing and transportation process. LIN LIM

It's more than just carbon footprint though. Styrofoam is non biodegradable. Paper is. XAVIER NG

Hawker centres should ban the use of disposable plates, bowls, chopsticks & spoons. When dining there, why is there still a need to use disposable? TENZIN DROLJANG EVAN CHONG 

Thousands are eating out of styrofoam and plastic containers on a daily basis with the arrival of food delivery apps. YUEN CHUEN

Early action is needed to reduce or even stop the use of styrofoam and plastics materials that cannot be reused or degraded but thrown away after one use. But the nagging question is what is the alternative. Using more paper products can be one solution for certain uses, but what can people use to hold rubbish which often contains moist food waste? JIMMY CHAN

In the old days, we used old newspapers and placed a big leaf to wrap our food and carried tiffin carriers for soup-based food. We should start using these way again to save our earth. Every government has to educate the young child in school to ensure the children learn the practice and make it a habit. JOHNSON ONG

No need three to five years! If Indonesia can do it in six months, why not us? AI PENG LOH

Yes, strongly agree. Malaysia has done away with styrofoam boxes in takeaway. Singapore is still behind. TON THAINI


These comments were first posted to TODAY’s Facebook page or submissions to Voices. They have been edited for clarity, accuracy and length. 

Related topics

sustainability Styrofoam environment food

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