S’pore Diners Must Clear Trays And Litter At Public Dining Areas From 2022

In May 2021, the National Environment Agency (NEA) made it compulsory for diners at hawker centres to clear their trays and utensils.

Returning Of Trays At Hawker Centres Will Be Enforced From 1 Sep, Repeat Offenders Face Up To $2K Fine

Though there was a 3-month advisory period allowing residents to adjtrue ust, the authorities will take enforcement actions against errant diners from 1 Sep.

Similar enforcement will also commence at coffeeshops and food courts from 2022.

Diners must clear litter from their tables before leaving

On Monday (30 Aug), the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Singapore Food Agency (SFA) released a joint media release regarding enforcement for table littering.

From 1 Sep, diners at hawker centres will have to clear their tables of used trays, crockery, and litter before leaving.

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Since the announcement in May, the proportion of diners who return their trays and crockery today has reportedly reached 65% — more than double that of 30% in February.

Enforcement officers will continue to remind and advise diners to clear their tables. Diners who refuse to abide by the rules will have their particulars taken down and issued a warning.

Those who repeatedly fail to abide by the rules will face fines.

However, enforcement officers will be understanding towards those who have difficulties clearing their tables or returning their crockeries. These include:

  • Frail elderly
  • Young children

Authorities to increase convenience for diners

With the new rules in place, NEA will also make it more convenient for diners to return their trays.

From end-August, NEA will introduce trolleys and more tray return areas to reduce the walking distance for diners to return their trays.

Advisory period for coffeeshops and food courts

From 1 Jan 2022, similar rules will also apply to coffeeshops and food courts.

In order to help diners get used to the new rules, there will be a 2-month advisory period from 1 Nov-31 Dec 2021. During this time, no enforcement will be taken.

However, Safe Distancing Ambassadors and enforcement officers will be on the lookout and will remind diners to return their trays and clean the tables before leaving.

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Though enforcements will not be taken, diners are still encouraged to comply with the rules.

The new rules will help with maintaining high public hygiene and cleanliness standards, which is critical during the pandemic.

With diners helping to clean up after themselves, cleaners will be able to spend more time cleaning and sanitising the tables.

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This will help to accelerate the turnover of tables, especially during peak mealtimes.

Hope to see cleaner hawker centres

With the new guidelines in place, we hope to see our hawker centres in a cleaner and more hygienic state.

This is especially important during the pandemic as it might very well prevent transmissions from happening in the community.

For those dining in at any of the public areas, do remember to clear the tables before leaving.

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Featured image adapted from Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment on Facebook