Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Enforcement Action Against Table Littering at Public Dining Spaces by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment
Mr Desmond Choo: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment since the implementation of enforcement action against table littering at public dining spaces (a) what is the number of warnings, fines and court fines that have been issued to diners who do not return their trays; and (b) what is the breakdown of these errant diners by age group.
1 The National Environment Agency (NEA) and Singapore Food Agency (SFA) started enforcing against table littering in hawker centres from 1 September 2021, and in coffeeshops and food courts from 1 January 2022 respectively. After a year, the returning of trays and used crockery has now become the prevalent practice. The average Tray and Crockery Return Rate (TCRR) has improved from 65% in August 2021 to close to 90% in our hawker centres. Similarly, for coffeeshops and food courts, the TCRR is also at around 90% today. Diners have been cooperative, with many taking the initiative to return their trays and used crockery after their meals. We would like to thank our stakeholders, including diners, stallholders, cleaners and premises operators, for their strong support in maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene of public dining spaces.
2 For the small number of diners who do not clear their trays, used crockery, and litter, enforcement officers will advise them to do so in the first instance. Only diners who refuse to heed the enforcement officers’ advice will be issued written warnings if it was their first offence, or issued fines or charged in Court for subsequent offences. As of 28 August 2022, two written warnings have been issued to diners for refusing to heed enforcement officers’ advice to return their used crockery. The two diners were between 60 to 75 years old, and were observed to be physically fit. So far, no diners have been issued with fines or charged in Court for table littering.
3 We hope that diners will continue to exercise social responsibility and return their trays and used crockery, so that we can together nurture this into a social norm and make Singapore a cleaner and more gracious society.