Watsons is Going to Charge for Plastic Bags Every Tuesday But the Proceeds Are for Charity


In recent years, many enterprises, businesses and organisations are advocating for the environment.

We have KFC and their “no-straw” policy, Miniso and their plastic bag charge and Fairprice with their plastic bag charge at selected stores.

Well, turns out that now, one more business is jumping on the bandwagon: Watsons Singapore.

Yes, Watsons.

Watsons is Going to Charge for Plastic Bags Every Tuesday

From 1 Dec 2020 onwards, Watsons Singapore is going to charge $0.10 for plastic bags in their stores on Tuesdays.

These Tuesdays are aptly called Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB) Tuesdays.

In a Facebook post on 23 Nov 2020, the megachain explained that BYOB Tuesdays is their way to promote sustainable living and minimise plastic bag waste.

Pointing out how people in Singapore uses, on average, about five single-use plastic every time we go for takeout food, they urge people to start using reusable bags and “Bring Your Own (BYO) the next time you buy takeaway food.”

They even have a short video clip telling people what to use in place of single-use plastics like disposable forks, spoons and takeaway cups, which you can watch below:

How It Works:

On BYOB Tuesdays, if you ask for a plastic bag, or multiple ones, to contain your purchase, you’ll be charged an additional $0.10 on top of what you’ve purchased.

According to their post, it seems like it doesn’t matter if it’s a single plastic bag, or multiple ones; as long as it’s a single transaction, you’ll only need to pay $0.10 extra.

The Proceeds Are for Charity

But they’re not keeping the money for themselves, though.

Watsons Singapore revealed that all the proceeds from the extra plastic bag charge will be given to WWF-Singapore’s conservation efforts, which includes reducing plastic in nature.

According to WWF’s website, about 700 million kg of plastic waste is generated each year in Singapore and lesser than 10% of the waste are recycled.

This means that every year, there are about 630 million kg worth of plastic waste left to decompose, which takes about 400 years to complete.


You can watch their explanatory video below:

In a way, you got to admit, it’s pretty smart for Watsons Singapore.

If people don’t switch to reusable bags, they’ll contribute to projects that might help reduce plastic waste in nature.

And if they do, they contribute less plastic waste, which helps the environment anyway.


Will It Work?

As for whether this move will work or not, similar moves made by other businesses like Miniso and Bossini saw demand for plastic bags at their stores fall by 50 to 80 per cent after a ten-cent charge was imposed.

As for IKEA, the additional 10-cent charge didn’t help reduce the use of their plastic bags. However, when they discarded the idea of using plastic bags and introduced their IKEA bags for more than 10 cents but less than a dollar, the demand for the bags dropped immediately.

The moral of the story: Customers are able to adapt to changes, which means if companies banded together on the bandwagon, we might just be looking at a Singapore where everyone comes out with reusable bags.

Featured Image: Sorbis / Shutterstock.com