Stick needed in fight against littering

We thank Dr V. Subramaniam for his letter and agree with him that the littering problem has not lessened despite all the efforts to promote good habits to keep Singapore clean. (Anti-litter message not sinking in, Aug 25).

Some have suggested that there are too many cleaners in the country and we have become too dependent on them.

Others attribute the littering problem to children who do not learn good social habits from their parents because maids would clean up after them.

Since 2012, the Public Hygiene Council has worked with more than 600 partners - from schools and uniformed groups to government agencies and grassroots organisations, as well as event organisers - to roll out a wide range of educational and promotional programmes and spread the anti-littering message.

The council also mobilised volunteers to carry out litter-free outreach activities at mass events, and rallied the population to keep Singapore clean at the island-wide Keep Clean, Singapore exercise in May this year.

Perhaps a carrot-and-stick approach is what is needed. For the longest time, the council has focused on appealing to the civic-mindedness of people but this has not worked.

We will recommend introducing stricter deterrent measures and a tighter enforcement regime to complement the current educational efforts.

Singapore has long been known as a clean city. Let us keep it that way.

Edward D'Silva

Chairman

Public Hygiene Council

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2017, with the headline 'Stick needed in fight against littering'. Print Edition | Subscribe