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President Tharman advises against using reusable cotton tote bags as they come at a cost to the environment

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President Tharman advises against using reusable cotton tote bags as they come at a cost to the environment

SINGAPORE: President Tharman Shanmugaratnam put on his environmentalist’s hat in a recent Facebook post, explaining why polyester recyclable bags are better for the environment than cotton ones.

While advocating for using recyclable bags instead of single-use bags, the President underlined that the type of recyclable bag we use is also important.

He mentioned this in the context of this year’s National Day Parade (NDP) packs, which he talked at length about, posting a photo of the two sample bags they’ll come in.

Importantly, they’re made of recycled polyester, which the President called “a good idea,” though they may not be as fashionable as cotton ones.

Nevertheless, this type of recyclable tote is “much more eco-friendly than cotton bags or paper bags,” he added.

While many organizations that want to help the environment give away cotton totes, “they are, in fact, an example of good intentions with bad consequences.”

President Tharman explained how cotton needs a lot of land, water, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides for its growth. In addition, a lot of energy goes into their manufacturing and transport, as the totes end up bulky and heavy.

Furthermore, a number of studies have shown that to avoid having a worse impact on the environment; each cotton tote needs to be reused hundreds or even thousands of times.

Indeed, reusable bags have greatly reduced the amount of litter in the ocean or landfills, and more and more countries have banned single-use plastic bags.

Banning plastic bags in European and American cities has decreased plastic litter in waters nearby.

President Tharman noted in his post that he had been meaning to say this about cotton bags having become fashionable. However, they come at a cost to the environment many are unaware of.

And on the NDP packs this year, he added that they again feature artwork from 40 special education students aged eight to 18, “each transcending their disabilities through art.”

Kayden Yeow of Eden School drew a Merlion wearing a durian helmet, while Nur Kaiyishah from Lighthouse School drew a “beautiful three-tiered tingkat container.”

Josie Nicholas of Pathlight School drew “a parachutist landing amid Singapore’s lush greenery and skyscrapers,” and Noah Nicholas Tan from Canossian School drew a drama dragon.

The young artist told the President it was his first time drawing this mythical beast. /TISG

Read also: President Tharman’s point about the benefit of a strong opposition resurfaces as election looms

The post President Tharman advises against using reusable cotton tote bags as they come at a cost to the environment appeared first on The Independent Singapore News - Latest Breaking News

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