Identify the source of offshore litter

The response from National Environment Agency ("Beach litter also swept in from offshore"; Feb 22) is an interesting one.

If that really is the case, the logical question to ask would be: What is the source of this offshore trash?

And, wouldn't it be easier to tackle the problem at the source?

Marine trash could originate from fish farms in Singapore as I understand they are not provided with daily door-to-door trash collection, unlike most other businesses, households and ships anchored in Singapore's port. The rubbish could very easily end up in the sea.

Fish farms produce fish in industrial quantities and that leads to industrial amounts of trash.

Then, there is the matter of dealing with marine litter when it lands.

While coastal clean-ups are a reactionary measure in the battle against marine trash, they can be extremely useful at non-recreational beaches which are not cleaned daily, where rubbish can pile up.

The International Coastal Cleanup Singapore and Nature Society (Singapore) are examples of local organisations that tackle marine litter at non-recreational beaches, and they could do with more help.

The authorities could direct their volunteers to beaches which are not cleaned daily by contractors.

But first, the authorities should work at preventing the trash from even entering the sea.

I hope there will be clarity on the sources of marine litter, and that more action will be taken by stakeholders to reduce this.

Ho Xiang Tian