Stricter measures against table littering to be implemented from Jun 1

Places where the measures will affect include hawker centres, coffeeshops and food courts.

Seif Umar

Certified football, Formula One and teh tarik addict.

Published: 18 April 2023, 5:12 PM

From Jun 1, enforcement officers will mete out stricter penalties on those who do not return their used trays and crockery, announced the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Tuesday (Apr 18). 

First-time offenders will be issued a written warning instead of an advisory, while repeat offenders will be issued fines or charged in court.

This is part of efforts to “reinforce good habits” and deter those who “repeatedly fail to return their used trays and crockery”.

NEA and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) first rolled out the measures against table littering at hawker centres in September 2021, and subsequently implemented them at coffeeshops and food courts in January 2022. 

Those exempted from the tightened measures include the less-abled, frail elderly and children who are clearly unable to clear their tables.

Currently, enforcement officers will only advise diners who do not clear their used trays and crockery to do so. Those who refuse to heed officers’ advice will be issued written warnings.

As of Mar 31, only two written warnings have been issued and no one has been fined or charged in court.


Between 2020 and 2022, NEA issued an average of 18,700 tickets for littering and high-rise littering. PHOTO CREDIT: ALICIA ANG, FACEBOOK/@BLUESDOCTOR


Aside from the tightened enforcement at public dining places, NEA will also deploy remote surveillance cameras at littering hotspots from April 2023. 

First-time littering offenders will be fined $300, while offenders prosecuted in court may be issued a fine and sentenced to perform Corrective Work Order (CWO). 

CWO serves to remind uncooperative offenders of the impact of littering and the difficulties faced by cleaners, according to NEA.

After introducing CWO sessions in city areas such as Chinatown and Tanjong Pagar in November 2022, NEA plans to expand sessions to Farrer Park from July 2023. 

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