Letter: False green efforts at Ngee Ann Polytechnic

by Michelle Lee

My daughter came back from school today and I was informed that drinks in paper disposable cups would cost $0.10 more in school due to an environmentally friendly initiative.

I am very surprised why Ngee Ann Polytechnic is taking such measures to mark up the cost of food and drinks to students.

Why are drinks not being sold in reusable plastic cups? Why should the students be penalised if the canteens want to save time and manpower by not washing cups? Don’t reusable cups fall into the same category as the plates and cutlery which are reused in the canteen after washing? I remember during my days in schools, there were proper cups that were washed after every use.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic should look into the root cause of the problem. I was told that there is a lack of canteen seating space during the term study time. Students often have no place to sit at all in the canteen and they often have to resort to takeaway their food in environmentally friendly boxes will further cost 20-50 cents from the stores.

Isn’t it absurd that students have to pay for such “save the environment” ware, when it is obvious that there is not enough canteen seating and dining capacity for the students? There is not enough seating space and yet still close down a canteen? Ngee Ann Polytechnic should look into the main reason of the demand for takeaways!

Next, the fee of 10 cents for environmentally friendly cups is not a fair move, since drinks in plastic bottles are not similarly “taxed”. Are drinks in plastic bottles therefore deemed to be “environmentally friendly”?

Such thinking and mentality of Ngee Ann Polytechnic as an educational institute only grooms students to grow up to think along a line of “ban PMDs because they cause accidents”.

Should Ngee Ann Polytechnic wish to be environmentally friendly and conscious, a very low-lying fruit would be to stop the smoking students from your school from littering. The pavement of the unofficial smoking point is located just next to a waterway, when student litter their cigarette butt onto the pavement, it only eventually ends up into our waterways, polluting our water source. Or is Ngee Ann Polytechnic not concerned since the place is not within their campus?

Instead of making students pay for your so called “green initiative”, please do something for the damage to the environment by your students on the land out of your campus!

Also, why not save energy by getting your staff to carpool? Principals and their deputies should and can set an example to car pool or take public transport to save the environment, instead of putting up a false front on environmental friendliness.

Let’s all not be so fixated over the false front of how a 10 cent paper cup can save the environment when there are obviously bigger issues that Ngee Ann Polytechnic has overlooked or is closing a blind eye to!

This is a letter submitted by a member of the public and does not represent the site’s stance on the issue raised.