One million flowers made from plastic bags for Chingay display

Amir Hussain Today Online 28 Apr 14;

SINGAPORE — Next year’s Chingay parade will showcase a special contribution by Singaporeans: Flowers handmade from recycled plastic bags. The People’s Association (PA) aims to gather at least one million such flowers, which will be used to form a large display at the event slated for Feb 27 and 28 at the F1 Pit Building, as part of its Chingay 2015 Community Engagement Programme.

The initiative, titled We Love Sg Flowers, is also aimed at encouraging Singaporeans to be environmentally conscious. The programme was launched yesterday by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, as he joined some 500 residents from his Teck Ghee ward to fold flowers at the Teck Ghee Community Club (CC).

PA Chief Executive Director Ang Hak Seng said the flowers are “very simple to make, so all Singaporeans can participate”.

“Chingay next year is going to be a special one because we are celebrating Singapore’s 50th birthday,” he added. Grassroots organisations such as Residents Committees and Neighbourhood Committees will kick-start the drive by collecting used plastic bags from residents.

The PA will also invite external partners such as schools, religious bodies, clan associations and private companies to join in the programme.

After Chingay, the flowers will be distributed for display at the PAssionArts Festival 2015 from April to May, and in celebration of Singapore’s 50th birthday. Thereafter, they will be kept by the CCs or sold for recycling, with proceeds to go to charity.

PA kicks off bid to craft a million flowers from plastic bags
David Ee The Straits Times AsiaOne 30 Apr 14;

SINGAPORE - Teck Ghee in Ang Mo Kio GRC yesterday hosted a "bring your own bag" event with a difference.

The special guest was the ward's Member of Parliament, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who brought 20 plastic bags and joined 500 residents and volunteers in turning the bags into flowers.

The event kicked off the People's Association's (PA's) effort to get people islandwide to craft one million flowers from used bags, as a way to show their love for the nation as it approaches its 50th birthday next year.

The flowers, which represent people's wishes for Singapore, will eventually be part of a gigantic "flower bed", which will be displayed at the opening of Chingay 2015, to be held on Feb 27 and 28 at the F1 Pit Building.

The PA is inviting groups across the island to take part, including schools, businesses, faith groups, clan and immigrant associations, and ordinary households.

After Chingay next year, the "flowers" will be shown at the PAssionArts Festival next April.

They will then be sold to recycling firms to be turned into flower pots or new bags.

For some of the participants yesterday, their wishes for the nation ahead of a half-century of independence were tinged with gratitude for Singapore's journey.

"I feel happy that Singapore has reached 50 years without too many conflicts," said transport officer Habel Low, 64.

"I wish for harmony and stability, especially with our multiracial society. We have to give and take and tolerate one another."

Teck Ghee Primary pupil Lim Yin Kang, 12, had just two wishes: for the country to remain a safe place to live, and for it to become "less stressful" for students.

Others wished for a more environmentally conscious Singapore and close-knit communities.

Mr Low said that ultimately, he worries about the cost of living and hopes that his two sons, aged 26 and 17, will "get jobs and a place to stay".

As for PM Lee, who made five flowers, he seemed to have babies on his mind. Just before giving out prizes at the Teck Ghee Baby Show, which was held alongside the event, he told the new parents present that raising children is "one of the greatest joys" in life.

He quipped: "I hope that next year when we have a baby show, you will come back. This group of babies may be too old, but I hope you have a new group of babies to participate next year."