Reward those who return their trays

I fully agree with Monday's report ("S'pore diners still fare poorly in returning trays").

This sentiment was reinforced recently by a personal experience.

I was having a drink at a foodcourt in Bras Basah Road when I observed how ingrained this habit of expecting someone to clear up after you can be.

Even though intermittent announcements were made, asking customers to return their trays after eating, many chose to blatantly ignore the request.

If such a thing can happen in an air-conditioned setting with exhortations blaring in the background, I wonder how many will actually heed the request in places such as hawker centres.

For a start, to get everyone going, we may need to incentivise and reward those who return their trays, in order to gradually instil such habits in Singaporeans.

Perhaps the National Environment Agency could come up with a system where those who return their trays will be rewarded with coupons that can be accumulated and used for purchasing food.

Let's hope that over time, returning our trays after eating will become a natural habit for every Singaporean.

Seah Yam Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2016, with the headline 'Reward those who return their trays'. Print Edition | Subscribe