Stricter rules for diners who don’t return trays, crockery: Here’s what you need to know, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper
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Stricter rules for diners who don’t return trays, crockery: Here’s what you need to know

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Those who fail to return their used trays and crockery at food courts, hawker centres and coffee shops will face tougher action from the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Singapore Food Agency (SFA) from Thursday.

Here’s what you need to know.

1. What is the offence?

A: First-time offenders will be given written warnings while repeat offenders will be issued fines or charged in court, the agencies said in a statement on Wednesday.

2. What if you clear your tray and used crockery but leave behind tissues or empty drink cans, or food scraps such as shells and bones on the table?

A: No one should leave behind any litter in any public place, except in a dustbin or other receptacle provided for the deposit of refuse and rubbish. This includes used tissues, wet wipes, drink cans, shells and bones.

3. Will action be taken against the elderly, the less-abled, or children under 12 for table littering?

A: Enforcement will not be taken against the frail elderly or less-abled, or children who are clearly unable to clear their tables.

Family members or dining companions of these individuals should help to dispose of the litter and return the trays and used crockery.

4. What if the cleaner insists on clearing the table for diners?

A: In such situations, diners are welcome to let the cleaners clear the table.

Cleaning contractors and cleaners have been briefed on the “self-service concept” and table-cleaning workflow.

Hence, we urge diners to take the initiative in keeping their tables clean and returning trays and used crockery.

5. Are diners expected to remove trays, used crockery and litter left behind by the previous diner?

A: Cleaners will assist in removing trays, used crockery and litter left behind by the previous diner.

6. What if an enforcement officer requests for our particulars but we do not have them on hand?

A: Various types of photo IDs are accepted for verification by the officer, including digital NRIC through the Singpass app.

In the event that the offender does not possess any valid particulars on hand, the officer will seek the assistance of the police to verify the identity of the offender.

7. What if we step away from the table to get a drink with the intention of coming back to return our tray and crockery, but enforcement officers accuse us of littering?

A: If they have assessed that the diner had indeed stepped away from the table to get a drink with the intention of coming back to return the tray, the officer will request that the diner clear the used tray and crockery before proceeding to buy the drink. No enforcement action will be taken against the diner.

8. What if we are unable to return the tray as the tray return rack is full?

A: No enforcement will be taken against diners leaving trays and crockery near the tray return station in such situations.

litteringHAWKER CENTRESCoffee shopNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT AGENCY