Oral Reply by Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on Issuance of Fines Under the Clean Tables Regime
Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment regarding the Clean Tables Campaign to achieve a higher tray/crockery return rate (a) how many fines have been issued so far; (b) what is the general profile of those who have been warned or fined; (c) what are the most common reasons cited for non-return of trays; and (d) whether targeted public education can be provided for these diners.
1 Enforcement action against table littering in hawker centres started on 1 September 2021, following a three-month advisory period. For diners who do not clear their dirty trays, crockery and litter, enforcement officers will first advise them to do so. Diners who refuse to heed officers' advice will have their particulars taken down and be issued written warnings if it is their first offence. Only second or subsequent offenders will be issued fines or sent to Court.
2 Thus far, diners have been generally cooperative at our hawker centres, with many taking the initiative to return their trays and dirty crockery after eating or doing so when advised. The common reason given by diners for not clearing the table after eating is that they had forgotten. To date, one written warning has been issued to a diner for refusing to heed enforcement officers' advice to return the dirty crockery. No fines have been issued.
3 The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) will also be commencing enforcement against table littering at coffeeshops and food courts from 1 January 2022, with a two-month advisory period from 1 November to 31 December 2021.
4 We will continue with our extensive outreach efforts to ensure that the general public and key stakeholders are aware of the requirement to return their dirty trays and crockery after dining at public dining spaces. This includes multilingual outreach materials on mass media and social media platforms, on-site reminders at hawker centres, coffeeshops and food courts, as well as collaborations with grassroots organisations, schools and youth groups. We hope more diners will exercise their social responsibility, return their dirty trays and crockery, and for this to become the social norm in Singapore.