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Enforcement officers will continue to remind and advise diners to clear their used tray, crockery and litter. — TODAY pic
Enforcement officers will continue to remind and advise diners to clear their used tray, crockery and litter. — TODAY pic

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SINGAPORE, Aug 30 — From Jan 1 next year, diners at coffee shops and food courts who do not return their trays and clear the table after use will be fined.

In a media release today, the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said that the enforcement approach will be similar to that at hawker centres.

Earlier in May, NEA announced that it would be compulsory for diners at public dining places to clear their tables of used trays, crockery and litter after their meals.

Enforcement action against table littering at hawker centres will start from Wednesday onwards after an advisory period that allowed the public to adjust to the practice of cleaning up after themselves.

Enforcement officers will continue to remind and advise diners to clear their used tray, crockery and litter.

Action will not be taken against those “clearly unable to return their trays” such as frail seniors or young children unable to buy and carry their own food to the table, the two agencies said.

Those who have been reminded but refuse to heed the officers’ advice will be issued a written warning and those who commit subsequent offences will face enforcement fines of S$300 (RM927) or more.

NEA and SFA said that enforcement for table littering at coffee shops and food courts will start from Jan 1 next year after an initial two-month advisory period from Nov 1 to Dec 31.

No action will be taken against diners during this advisory period, they said.

Safe distancing ambassadors and officers from SFA will be deployed at coffee shops and food courts to continue to remind operators to ensure that their diners have to clear the dirty trays, crockery and litter.

“Visual cues such as posters and banners will progressively be installed at these premises to remind diners to clear their tables. While no enforcement will be taken during this period, diners are reminded to comply upon being advised.”

NEA and SFA said that coffee shops and food courts across Singapore are in the midst of installing tray and crockery return equipment.

They added that coffee-shop and food court owners or operators may make use of NEA’s Clean Tables Support Scheme to help defray the costs of putting in place the tray-return facilities and to buy new trays.

They may apply for 50 per cent co-funding of the total costs incurred for these purchases and set-up, capped at S$2,500 for each premises.

Enforcement at hawker centres

NEA and SFA said that since the announcement in May for members of the public to return their own trays at hawker centres, response on the ground “has been encouraging”.

“From an average tray and crockery return rate of about 30 per cent in February this year when the Clean Tables Campaign was launched, the average tray and crockery return rate has improved to about 65 per cent.” — TODAY

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