H&M to start charging 10 cents for shopping bag
Move will kick in on July 25; proceeds to go to industry initiative to cut plastic use
Clothing company H&M will begin charging shoppers in Singapore 10 cents for every plastic or paper shopping bag from July 25.
This is to reduce plastic use, said the Swedish retailer in a press release on Monday.
All proceeds collected from the shopping bag charge will be donated to World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore's Plastic ACTion (Pact) initiative, an industry-wide initiative to reduce plastic use by 2030.
The New Paper randomly polled 30 shoppers on the new initiative. Twenty-two shoppers noted that H&M's move is a step in the right direction.
Student Tang Yi Qing, 17, a regular at H&M, feels that charging for bags is a smart move.
She said: "H&M is a really big company and it might influence other companies to do the same and reduce plastic use. This is a smart idea not only because it raises funds for WWF, but (it also causes) people to rethink if they actually need a bag."
But some think the move may not be effective.
Frequent H&M shopper, student Sendhoran Monakaran, 17, said: "Rather than charging 10 cents, it should invest in multiple-use bags that are biodegradable and more eco-friendly."
On the new initiative, Mr Fredrik Famm, H&M's country manager of South-east Asia, told The Straits Times: "To create a more sustainable fashion future, we need to take the lead by tackling some of the most significant challenges facing our planet and society."
Under Pact, proceeds will go towards innovations to find sustainable alternative materials, research into plastic pollution and conservation projects.
WWF Singapore chief executive officer Maureen DeRooij said bag charges have been proven to be effective in reducing plastic use, and "H&M's move comes at a crucial time where we need bold action to change how plastics are produced, used and disposed of."
H&M aims to encourage patrons to join its sustainability journey by bringing their own reusable bags.