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Stepped-Up Enforcement Against Littering

18 Apr 2023

NEA and SFA will step up enforcement against table littering at public dining places, and NEA will enhance ground surveillance for littering at hotspot areas           

Singapore, 18 April 2023 – The National Environment Agency (NEA) and Singapore Food Agency (SFA) started enforcing against table littering at hawker centres from 1 September 2021, and at coffeeshops and food courts from 1 January 2022, respectively. This is part of our broader efforts to promote good hygiene and encourage social responsibility.

2          Currently, enforcement officers will 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. Repeat offenders will be issued fines or charged in Court. As of 31 March 2023, two written warnings have been issued and no one has been fined or charged in Court. 

3          The large majority of diners at hawker centres do return their used trays and crockery. The average Tray and Crockery Return Rate (TCRR) at our hawker centres increased from 65 per cent in August 2021 to around 90 per cent currently. The TCRR at coffeeshops and food courts has remained around 90 per cent.

4          In the Public Cleanliness Satisfaction Survey published earlier this month (on 3 April 2023) by the Singapore Management University, 95 per cent of diners were noted to return their used trays and crockery all the time. Additionally, 84 per cent of respondents felt that individual diners were primarily responsible for tray and crockery return, compared to 58 per cent of respondents in 2021.

Stepped-up enforcement against table littering starting on 1 June 2023

5          We thank everyone who has contributed to this movement. To reinforce good habits and deter the minority of diners who repeatedly fail to return their used trays and crockery, NEA and SFA will be stepping up our actions against table littering. From 1 June 2023, enforcement officers will request the particulars of diners who do not return their used trays and crockery at hawker centres, coffeeshops and food courts. First-time offenders will be issued a written warning instead of an advisory, while repeat offenders will be issued fines or charged in Court. The stepped-up enforcement aims to ensure that the good efforts of the majority (over 90 per cent) of diners who return their used trays and crockery are not marred by the inconsiderate behaviour of the minority. NEA and SFA will continue to take a pragmatic approach, and will not take enforcement action against the less-abled, frail elderly and children, who are clearly unable to clear their tables.

Stepped-up enforcement against ground littering

6          NEA will also be stepping up enforcement at littering hotspots, by deploying remote surveillance cameras at these areas from April 2023. From 2020 to 2022, NEA issued an average of 18,700 tickets for littering and high-rise littering.

Number of tickets issued by NEA for littering and high-rise littering


Total Number of Tickets Issued


About 19,400


About 15,500


About 21,200


About 18,700


Corrective Work Order at city areas

7          First-time littering offenders are fined a composition sum of $300, while offenders prosecuted in Court may be issued a fine and be sentenced to perform Corrective Work Order (CWO). CWO serves to remind recalcitrant offenders of the impact of littering and the difficulties faced by cleaners. From 2020 to 2022, the total number of Corrective Work Orders (CWOs) issued was about 2,200.

8          To further drive home the impact of littering, NEA introduced CWO sessions at city areas at Chinatown and Tanjong Pagar in November 2022. CWO sessions will be expanded to the vicinity of Farrer Park from July 2023.

9          Everyone has a part to play in keeping Singapore clean. NEA and SFA will continue to reach out to members of the public to do so, and will take enforcement action against offenders. 

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