Disposables not allowed at new hawker centres

Disposable utensils at a hawker stall.
Disposable utensils at a hawker stall. PHOTO: SHIN MIN

We thank Mr Wong Weng Fai for his feedback (Phase out single-use utensils, June 13).

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has been working with various stakeholders to reduce the use of disposables.

This includes encouraging the use of non-disposable cutlery and crockery by stallholders at our hawker centres.

For newer hawker centres, such as those at Our Tampines Hub, Pasir Ris Central and Yishun Park, NEA has disallowed the use of disposables for dine-in meals from the start of hawker centres' operations.

Since September last year, disposables are also no longer permitted for dine-in meals when new cooked food stallholders start to operate at existing NEA-managed centres.

We agree with Mr Wong on the need to remodel hawker centres to make their operations cost-effective and environmentally sustainable.

We have started putting in place infrastructure to help more stallholders use reusables for their stalls' operations.

Under the centre-level productivity initiatives announced by NEA in 2017, the provision of common crockery, along with centralised dishwashing services, for stallholders will facilitate the use of reusable crockery for dine-in patrons in more hawker centres, while addressing manpower concerns related to washing needs at the same time.

NEA will continue to strive to design and encourage environmentally sustainable hawker centres, while working with partners to reduce the consumption and distribution of disposables.

Ivy Ong

Director, Hawker Centres Division

National Environment Agency

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 19, 2019, with the headline 'Disposables not allowed at new hawker centres'. Print Edition | Subscribe