Zi Char & Mookata Diners Needn’t Clear Bulky Crockery, Coffee Shop Cleaners May Assist

Zi Char & Mookata Stall Assistants & Cleaners May Help To Clear Bulky Crockery

Since 1 Jun, it has become mandatory for patrons of hawker centres to return trays and other crockeries at designated tray return points.

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

Soon, authorities will implement similar measures at coffee shops and food courts. But before the implementation, some operators have already raised concerns over the table-cleaning workflow.

Recently, Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, clarified that zi char and mookata hawkers in coffee shops and food courts can get stall assistants or cleaners to collect bulky crockery for diners.


Customers, however, will still have to clear the rest of their litter, such as tissues and bones.

Concerns raised by zi char & mookata hawkers in kopitiams

In a Facebook post on Saturday (25 Sep), Dr Khor shared her recent meeting with operators of coffee shops and food courts before the advisory period for table littering enforcement starts in November.

Some operators voiced concerns about how the initiative will apply to hawkers that utilise bulky crockery.


In response to these concerns, Dr Khor said those serving zi char or mookata can seek help from stall assistants or cleaners to clear bulky crockery after diners have finished their meals.

Customers, however, will still have to clear other forms of table litters themselves, such as used tissues or bones.

Sharing the experience in hawker centres, Dr Khor also urged kopitiam and food court operators to adopt a workflow that allows cleaners to focus on sanitising tables and clearing tray return points rather than clearing tables.

Enforcement begins from 1 Jan 2022

From 1 Jan 2022, diners at coffee shops and food courts will have to clear their trays and litter.

S’pore Diners Must Clear Litter On Tables From 1 Jan 2022 Or Face Fines

Before that, NEA will be implementing a 2-month advisory period from 1 Nov-31 Dec 2021 during which enforcement officers will be making rounds and reminding diners of the new regulations.

No enforcement actions will be taken during this time.

Customers may feel reluctant to order seafood

One operator interviewed by Lianhe Zaobao, however, shared concerns about the impending implementation.

According to the 40-year-old, some customers have expressed reluctance to order crab or fish dishes in the future as they find it troublesome to clear the shells and bones on their own.

To address this issue, the zi char operator reportedly plans on explicitly instructing workers to help diners clear their tables.

However, a customer who’s a frequent patron of zi char stalls said she plans on bringing folded paper boxes to hold smaller forms of litter.

Nothing unusual about clearing up after oneself

While coffee shop and food court operators are understandably worried, we hope they understand NEA’s reasons for implementing such regulations.

Getting diners to clean up would also greatly ease the burden of cleaners and assistants, many of whom are at an advanced age.

We hope coffee shop and food court stallholders will continue to operate smoothly during the advisory period as well as after 1 Jan 2022.

After all, it’s only natural for us to clean up after ourselves, and we should continue to take ownership of cleanliness in public spaces.

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Featured image adapted from Facebook and is for illustration purposes only. 

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