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How much do you have to pay for supermarket plastic bags from 3 July?

In an effort to reduce the use of plastic, shoppers at supermarkets are encouraged to bring their own reusable bags.

A woman shopping for groceries at NTUC FairPrice Xtra, to illustrate a story on supermarket disposable bag charges.
Large supermarket operators will implement a five-cent charge for each disposable carrier bag starting 3 July. (PHOTO: Getty) (NurPhoto via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — In an effort to promote environmental sustainability and reduce plastic usage, Singapore is implementing a new initiative to discourage the use of disposable carrier bags.

Starting from 3 July, large supermarket operators will be required to charge a minimum of five cents for each disposable carrier bag to shoppers at their physical stores.

Supermarket operators with an annual turnover of more than S$100 million will be applying the charge for disposable shopping bags of all materials. These include supermarkets such as NTUC FairPrice, Cold Storage, Giant, Sheng Siong and Prime – totalling about 400 supermarket outlets or two-thirds of all outlets in Singapore.

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Yahoo Finance Singapore reached out to the five large supermarket operators to find out how much they will be charging consumers for each disposable carrier bag. All five supermarkets – NTUC FairPrice, Cold Storage, Giant, Sheng Siong and Prime – said that they will be starting with the minimum charge of five cents per disposable carrier bag, without any mention of plans to increase the charge in the future.

The charge will not apply to non-carrier bags such as flat-top plastic bags for fresh produce, meat or seafood.

Some retailers have already implemented a charge

A number of smaller retailers and some supermarkets have already been charging for plastic and paper shopping bags. These include Guardian, Watsons, 7-Eleven, 11 FairPrice outlets, and 178 Cheers and FairPrice Xpress stores.

Here's how much it currently costs to use disposable carrier bags at each of these retailers:

Retailer

Cost

NTUC FairPrice

S$0.20 per transaction at 11 NTUC FairPrice outlets, regardless of the number of bags used

Cheers and

FairPrice Xpress

S$0.10 per transaction at 178 Cheers and FairPrice Xpress outlets, regardless of the number of bags used

7-Eleven

S$0.10 per transaction, regardless of the number of bags used

Guardian

S$0.05 per transaction, regardless of the number of bags used

Watsons

S$0.10 per transaction, regardless of the number of bags used

In response to queries from Yahoo Finance Singapore, FairPrice Group said that starting from 3 July, it will be standardising the charge across all its supermarket formats to five cents for each disposable bag used.

This means that all existing charges which were implemented at the 11 FairPrice outlets and 178 Cheers and FairPrice Xpress outlets will be removed and standardised.

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