The BYO Campaign

Hello readers!

Do you BYO???

If you are new to this term, let me tell you what it is. BYO (Bring Your Own) is a campaign introduced by Zero Waste SG (check it out!!) in 2017 to encourage individuals to cultivate the habit of bringing their own reusable items whenever they wish to purchase something in hope to reduce the amount of single-use plastic used. In partnership with this campaign, participating retailers provide incentives to their customers whenever they bring their own reusable items, be it bags, bottles or even containers.

I am sure all of us are aware that plastics pose a huge concern to the environment since they can take up thousands of years to decompose. According to statistics, the National Environment Agency (2018) recorded an alarming 763,400 tonnes (763,400,000 kg) of plastics thrown away in 2017 and plastic alone has already contributed to the bulk of the waste disposed of by our country (as can be seen from the table below).

Photo Source: National Environment Agency (2018)

Numbers don’t lie, are you surprised by the figures? Well, I certainly am not because plastics can be found literally everywhere. Plastics can be found in takeaway plastic containers, trash bags, cutlery, and stationary just to name a few. As the number accumulates, the mass disposal of single-use plastic will eventually pose an environmental problem not just to our country but to the entire world. Plastics either end up being burnt in the incinerator with the ash being deposited into the landfill afterward or into our waterways and oceans as marine waste. If we still do not cut down the number of plastic disposed of, we might not have sufficient landfills to dump the waste and I foresee our living conditions in the future to be uninhabitable for it will be polluted with all kinds of waste, not just plastic. I am sure this is not something we all are looking forward to. We only have one Earth so let’s do our party to protect it.

With a total of 430 retail outlets across the island offering incentives to encourage individuals to BYO and refrain from using single-use disposables (BYO Singapore, 2018), this makes a good platform for us to start to make a change in our reliance on the use of plastic items and perhaps start saving the unnecessary cost too. Hence, the next time you want to grab a coffee to go, remember to bring along your reusable cup. Every action has a consequence and we do not want the environment to suffer due to our irresponsible actions.

So, join in and start to Bring Your Own!

Cheers,

Joey

__________________________________________________________________________

Koh, H. (2017, September 2). New campaign aims to put lid on Singapore’s use of disposable plastics. Retrieved from https://www.eco-business.com/news/new-campaign-aims-to-put-lid-on-singapores-use-of-disposable-plastics/

Leo, D. (2017, October 9). Bring Your Own campaign key in Singapore’s push to go green . Retrieved from https://www.todayonline.com/commentary/bring-your-own-campaign-key-singapores-push-go-green

National Environment Agency. (2018, September 26). Waste Management. Retrieved from https://www.nea.gov.sg/our-services/waste-management/waste-statistics-and-overall-recycling

San, O. S. (2017, September 12). NEA supports ground-up moves to reduce plastic waste. Retrieved from https://www.straitstimes.com/forum/letters-in-print/nea-supports-ground-up-moves-to-reduce-plastic-waste

Zero Waste SG. (2018). BYO Singapore. Retrieved from http://www.byosingapore.com/

 

 

 

8 thoughts on “The BYO Campaign

  1. Hello Joey!

    Thank you for including the BYO campaign in your blog post! I think it is something us readers can easily find out more on and implement in our daily lives 🙂

    However, if I was being honest, I have actually never come across the BYO retailers haha. Hence I was wondering what are your thoughts on the success of the BYO campaign so far? How do you think it can be improved?

    Thank you!!
    ~ Christal Tang

    1. Hey Christal,

      Thanks for dropping by! I won’t blame you if you said you have never come across the BYO retailers before because personally, I feel that these retailers do not identify themselves well enough to the public. In fact, there are many people out there who are not aware of this too. Hence, I feel that BYO can further advertise/publicize through the advertisements you see on television or via the web since people these days are constantly surfing the internet. Furthermore, participating retailers should have signs put up near the cashier to indicate to customers that they are supportive of BYO to increase the awareness of BYO among the public. By doing so, this adds as another form of advertisement to inform others about BYO. Hope this answers your questions!

      Cheers,
      Joey

  2. Hi Joey,

    It is great that businesses are doing their part to help the environment. However, how often do people take away at restaurants participating in the BYO campaign? I’m not sure about others but like Chirstal, I have never been to any of the F&B outlets shown in the BYO campaign site. I think that the BYO campaign would be more effective if hawker centers and food courts are involved, although that will be a much harder thing to accomplish.

    From,
    Lee Yang

    1. Hello Lee Yang,

      Thank you for your feedback and for dropping by! From what I know, restaurants are still contemplating if they will want to participate in the BYO campaign because if they were to do so, they are afraid that these might deter their customers from patronizing their restaurant if some of them do want to do takeaways. Hence, I do hope that the government will be able to reach out to them as food and business industries also tend to contribute to plastic waste since the majority of their products are delivered to them in plastic packaging. I agree with you that it would be more effective if hawker centers and food courts are involved and I do believe we will be able to make it happen someday if consumers like us start to refuse plastic bags and cultivate the habit of bringing along a reusable bag everywhere we go. If we were to change our habit, BYO may eventually become more successful.

      Cheers,
      Joey

  3. Hi Joey!

    Interesting post you have there! I’ve honestly never heard of the BYO campaign. However, I was wondering if the whole idea of “bring your own” has been over-publicized. Take the latest rave about metals straws and the not-so-recent trend of reusable bags as examples. I was reading this article about metal straws and reusable bags.
    http://www.asiaone.com/singapore/metal-straws-and-reusable-bags-may-not-be-eco-friendly-you-think
    I was surprised to find out that in reality, these products are not as environmentally-friendly as I thought. The author posits that perhaps we should focus less on making our products “more environmentally friendly” and focus more on our habits like recycling. What do you think about this argument? Love to hear from you soon!

    Cheers,
    Joy

    1. Hello Joy,

      Thanks for dropping by! To be honest, I feel that every action that an individual make will cause an impact on the environment in one way or another be it big or small. No doubt the article mentioned that an overseas purchase of metal straw will result in 20 percent of marine litter from international shipping and more than 2 million tonnes of waste from the packaging alone, why not we purchase from local companies instead. By doing so, marine litter from international shipping will not matter anymore if companies selling environmentally friendly alternative items do not ship worldwide. Also, it was mentioned that reusable bag requires more materials and energy to manufacture and will only be “worth it” if it was to be used 104 times if not it will cause more harmful impacts to the environment, then won’t this suggest that 1 reusable bag is equivalent to 104 plastic bags? Would you want to use 104 plastic bags yourself? Furthermore, reusable bags have many purposes hence I believe that users will definitely use the same old reusable bag more than 104 times. At the end of the day, it really boils down to an individual’s action for habits are hard to inculcate and change so recycling alone might not necessarily do enough to be really environmentally friendly. As long as we were to use these reusable items properly and wisely, we can consider these actions environmentally friendly as well. Hope this answers your question and thank you for sharing your thoughts and this article with me! 🙂

      Cheers,
      Joey

      1. You raise a very important point Joey.

        The studies that find that cloth bags have a higher environmental footprint than plastic bags (to my knowledge) only examine the footprint of production (correct me if I’m wrong). And I believe the general conclusion is that when you take into account the problem of waste disposal, a reusable item is always a greener choice. Especially now, I would think, with this year’s study demonstrating that as plastics break down in the environment, they release GHGs.

        Makes sense ?

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