SINGAPORE: Return the trolley once you are done shopping — is a message that has been heard for years. But are shoppers listening? Apparently not, going by the scale of the problem that supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice has to grapple with.
Everyday, FairPrice has more than 10 retail assistants going around to collect trolleys dumped by inconsiderate shoppers. Some were even left them about two kilometres away.
Yeo Teck Lye, retail assistant, NTUC FairPrice, said: "The furthest I’ve gone is Bishan Park. Someone complained of an abandoned trolley there. So I took the bus and wheeled it back by foot. It took me 25 minutes."
Leaving the trolleys in all the wrong places may be a convenient habit for some, but it is hard work retrieving them.
It is a problem that will not go away despite measures like the S$1 coin—deposit system and public awareness campaigns.
FairPrice lost 2,403 trolleys last year — that is S$150,000 in replacement and repair costs. Two main reasons among shoppers are laziness and inconvenience.
Ironically, a survey done by the supermarket found that nine out of ten culprits know they have to return the trolleys.
Seah Kian Peng, managing director, Group Business, NTUC FairPrice, said: "What we really hope is a change in behaviour. We want to tell all shoppers who are not doing the right behaviour to be considerate and think of other shoppers.
"It’s not just one trolley. For one trolley that’s not around, you inconvenience many other shoppers who, as a result, are unable to use the trolley when they need it, especially during this festive season."
In the last Lunar New Year, about 300 trolleys went missing — 100 more than the average 200 a month.
FairPrice said now is the best time to rev up on the awareness. It is working with the Singapore Kindness Movement to educate shoppers to reverse this trend. — CNA/vm