Voices Of Youth

Be more mindful of the litter we create

In February, I took part in a coastal clean-up at Mandai Mudflat, organised by the Nature Society Singapore (NSS).

I was saddened to see the area covered with litter.

The rubbish is not only unhygienic and unsightly, but it also harms the organisms living at the mudflat. Plastic pieces and food packaging can decompose and release harmful compounds that disrupt organisms' metabolic processes, poisoning them.

I am thankful for the clean-up events that NSS hosts. These give the natural areas an opportunity to grow and thrive.

I believe Singaporeans take the ubiquity of rubbish bins and efficient waste management system for granted, resulting in them being unaware or indifferent to the ethics of proper waste disposal. Such habits follow them wherever they go, and they don't stop to think about the rubbish they generate.

Therefore, education is needed to lift the veil of apathy.

Schools could dedicate more time to raise awareness about the damage litter can cause. I would also encourage members of the public to join clean-up events and learn first-hand the extent of the damage littering can cause.

Yoke Kai Jie, 22

University undergraduate

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 26, 2017, with the headline 'Be more mindful of the litter we create'. Print Edition | Subscribe