Beach litter also swept in from offshore

We thank Mr L. R. Erickson and Mr Bennie Cheok for their feedback ("What happened to clean Singapore?"; Feb 15, and "Time for stronger anti-littering enforcement in Changi"; Feb 18).

Keeping Singapore clean is a key task which the National Environment Agency (NEA) and its partners have been tackling through various approaches.

The actions include having more efficient cleaning of our public places by service providers, stepping up enforcement, and encouraging ground-up activities emphasising care for our environment.

With regard to the litter at Changi Beach, while littering by irresponsible users is certainly a contributory cause, a significant amount of litter is also brought in daily from offshore to the beaches at the northern coast during the north-east monsoon period from November to April. The beaches along the southern coast are similarly affected during the south-west monsoon months of May to October.

During these periods, the NEA increases the frequency of cleaning operations at the beaches.

The NEA has also been taking a tough stand against those who persist in littering.

In the last three years, it has issued more than 78,000 tickets for littering, with more than 31,000 last year alone.

Recalcitrant offenders were asked to perform Corrective Work Orders, with more than 1,700 such Orders issued last year.

The NEA will continue to carry out enforcement and will pay greater attention to areas which have been singled out as having littering issues.

While enforcement is important, to tackle the littering problem effectively, we need the support and co-operation of the public in binning their litter as well as to remind their family and friends to do the right thing of not littering.

Those who are prepared to go the extra mile can volunteer at litter-picking sessions, such as those organised by the Public Hygiene Council.

All these efforts will contribute to keeping Singapore clean for residents and visitors alike to enjoy.

Tai Ji Choong

Director

Department of Public Cleanliness

National Environment Agency

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 22, 2017, with the headline 'Beach litter also swept in from offshore'. Print Edition | Subscribe