As of Aug. 28, two diners between the age of 60 and 75 years old were issued with written warnings for refusing to heed enforcement officers' advice to return their used crockery.
Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) Grace Fu gave this update in a written reply on Sep. 12.
She added that the diners were observed to be physically fit and so far, no other diners have been issued with fines or charged in Court for table littering.
Fu was responding to a Parliamentary Question (PQ) filed by Member of Parliament (MP) Desmond Choo who asked about the number of fines and court fines that have been issued to diners who do not return their trays and their age range.
As of Sep. 1, 2021, diners who do not heed enforcement officers' advisories to return trays and used crockery in hawker centres will receive a written warning for the first offence, a S$300 composition fine for the second offence, and possibly court fines for subsequent offences.
Subsequently, on Jan. 1 this year, the same rule applies to coffeeshops and food courts.
About 90 per cent of diners return their trays and used crockery
After a year, Fu described the act of returning trays and used crockery as a “prevalent practice”.
She shared that in hawker centres, the average tray and crockery return rate has improved from 65 per cent in August 2021 to close to 90 per cent now.
Fu also added that the rate for coffeeshops and food courts now is around 90 per cent.
“Diners have been cooperative, with many taking the initiative to return their trays and used crockery after their meals,” Fu said.
She also thanked stakeholders, including diners, stallholders, cleaners and premises operators, for their strong support in maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene of public dining spaces.
Only diners refusing to heed advice from enforcement officers will be issued warnings
For the small number of diners who do not clear their trays, used crockery, and litter, Fu said that the 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,” she wrote.
She added: “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”.
Top image by Jane Zhang