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Photo from twitter account of NTU admission

NTU to stop giving out free plastic bags starting 1 Oct

In a move towards sustainability and raising environmental awareness, free plastic bags will no longer be distributed at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) starting 1 Oct.

President of NTU Mr Subra Suresh declared yesterday (27 Aug) that the ban on handing out free plastic bags on retail and F&B (food & beverage) premises at the university is part of NTU's five-year growth plan, which has ecological consciousness at its core.

Prime and Giant, for example, will charge $0.20 per bag.

An NTU spokesperson revealed that free plastic bags will only be given out upon request starting 3 Sep as a way to encourage people to bring their own shopping bags, which are most commonly canvas bags.

"The proceeds from the sale of these bags will go towards NTU's student assistance funding. This is NTU walking the talk on sustainability," said the spokesperson in an interview with The Straits Times, adding that "this is the behavioural aspect of sustainability that can involve the entire community, which is just as important as advancements in technology."

The initiative will save an estimated 10 million bags per year, according to the spokesperson.

Findings from a recent study commissioned by the Singapore Environment Council revealed that shoppers in Singapore take home 820 million plastic bags from supermarkets annually. The council estimated that the same number of plastic bags would cover an area that is 126 times larger than Gardens by the Bay.

The move to cease distributing plastic bags at NTU was generally welcomed by students of the university, with an undergraduate stating that charging for plastic bags would deter people from using them, according to The Straits Times.