Tray return: Action has to start with all of us

The recent spate of letters relating to the topic of tray return is affirming.

Clearly, more citizens are concerned about making Singapore a cleaner and more beautiful place.

Among them is Mr Ng Sung Nang, who stated in his letter that "it is everyone's social responsibility to keep the environment clean, including at hawker centres" (Returning trays is everyone's duty; Sept 25).

The Public Hygiene Council (PHC) agrees with him on the need to exercise social responsibility in public.

Returning our trays will allow cleaners to focus on clearing their stations more effectively.

This will result in a faster turnaround of uncluttered tables for customers at food centres.

A cleaner food environment also reduces the presence of birds and pests.

A report by the Singapore Kindness Movement last month - Will returning your trays cost cleaners their jobs? - debunked concerns of job attrition for cleaners, with food chain operators such as Kopitiam giving this assurance as well.

To make progress, action has to begin with us. Let's take our trays back to the tray-return point after our meals.

We hope that through circles of positive influence, the ripple effect of cleanliness in the simple forms of picking up litter or returning trays at hawker centres will contribute to the social fabric of Singapore.

Let's be kind, keep clean.

Edward D'Silva


Public Hygiene Council

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 05, 2017, with the headline 'Tray return: Action has to start with all of us'. Print Edition | Subscribe