Wednesday, May 02, 2007

BYOBD Reloaded

Yes, people, we have another acronym on this island state of ours. BYOBD (pronounced 'bee-ob') - Bring Your Own Bag Day - is here again on the first Wednesday of every month. Started by the NEA (Nat'l Environment Agency) and SEC (Singapore Environment Council) with the cooperation of the major supermarkets on the island, shoppers can either pay 10 cents for a bag, or better, bring their own bags to shop.

Which reminds me that many years ago, my mother used to go the market (none were considered 'super' then) with her own shopping basket. It was a wonder that that basket could contain so many things. What's more, she hauled the basket full of her shopping back home on foot - no taxis, no buses, just those two legs of hers and a strong arm.

So actually, it was the supermarkets which eventually 'phased out' her shopping basket because they gave out plastic bags free of charge. I remember vividly those plastic bags because they made so much noise whenever handled. I didn't like them at first, but they persisted and became a way of life. Now, today, we are trying to get rid of them, not because they are noisy, which they still are, but because they are very difficult to get rid of - literally. It is now recognised that the plastic that these bags are made of will take a couple of hundred years to break down and return to dust.

Nowadays, whenever my mother goes to the supermarkets on the first Wednesday of the month, she must have a deja vu feeling. Why is it that some things we do many years ago are wiser in retrospect?

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