S’pore Instagram calls out ‘asshole’ litterbugs by documenting aesthetic photos of discarded trash

Hopefully he/she picks up the trash too.

Ashley Tan | April 9, 02:18 pm


Littering is an offence liable for hefty fines in clean and green Singapore.

But that hasn’t stopped people from discarding their trash anywhere and everywhere.

And according to one Instagram account, litterbugs are now “assholes” in Singapore.

Very aesthetic

The Instagram account handle is @assholes_of_singapore.

It is a litterbug vigilante on a mission to educate social media users on the ills of littering.

No one is quite sure who runs the account, but the profile picture is of one sad, lone takeaway coffee cup abandoned on the ground.

There are no other details aside from the short bio which reads: “Documenting installation artworks from the greatest assholes in Singapore”.

And truly, the photos in the account are artwork themselves.

All the photos are taken from the top down in a flatlay style, showcasing the sole piece of trash abandoned on the ground or wherever else it was discarded.

Each picture is accompanied by a short caption describing the litter, reminiscent of the small labels beside artworks in museums which usually read something like “acrylic and oil on canvas…”

Some posts consists of your usual fare like cigarette butts, disposable takeaway cups, and metal cans.

Sometimes, it’s not just the litter, but the backgrounds that are what make the photos so aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Documented alongside common litter are some weird, gross or rather quirky trash items as well.

Unfortunately, the account owner doesn’t seem to have updated it in a while, with the latest post dating back to January, 2018.

Funny though, how a picture of trash by its lonesome self, surrounded by empty space, evokes feelings of abandonment and solitude.

But perhaps that was the reaction the account holder was hoping to elicit.

Mindfulness, instead of convenience

By contrasting the aesthetic photos of abandoned litter with the constant mentions and hashtags of “asshole”, perhaps the account holder is trying to galvanise in its viewers a greater movement of consideration and conscientiousness.

As many have pointed out, both in The Straits Times and AsiaOne, Singapore’s cleanliness seems to stem mainly from a reliance on cleaners sweeping up after residents, and strict laws and penalties.

And not instead from any sort of mindfulness towards the environment and others.

Complacency and convenience seem to be the two main push factors behind littering — how easy it is to simply get rid of a piece of trash with a flick of the wrist on the sidewalk?

To cultivate a culture of conscientiousness, authorities have increased penalties and ramped up anti-littering education and campaign efforts.

But perhaps such a culture could start with just one “trashy” Instagram account.

Hopefully the owner of the account also picks up the trash after taking the photos.

Top photo from @assholes_of_singapore

About Ashley Tan

Ashley can't go a week without McDonalds.

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