Forum: Find new ways to break bad habit of littering

A cleaner picking up litter outside Junction Nine shopping mall on July 17, 2020. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

The Forum letter by the Public Hygiene Council offered no new insight except to repeat what has been tried and found ineffective for a very long time (Littering the most critical public health challenge, Sept 11).

To achieve a breakthrough in our efforts to tackle some people's careless behaviour that impacts public health, we must question our long-held beliefs, assumptions and approaches.

A good place to start is in re-examining the stance that "the Public Hygiene Council has long been advocating a carrot and stick approach".

Perhaps the council could consider doing a rigorous review of the literature and consulting professional bodies that specialise in behavioural change to adopt more effective methods of intervention beyond the carrot and stick approach.

Thomas Lee Hock Seng (Dr)

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 15, 2020, with the headline Forum: Find new ways to break bad habit of littering. Subscribe