Forum: Littering campaigns not just about cleanliness but also public responsibility

I appreciate the clarifications by Mr Tony Teo of the National Environmental Agency about the agency's efforts in tackling the littering problem (Collective action and social responsibility key to keeping public spaces clean, Aug 1).

The question to ask is whether littering is currently a problem here. If it isn't, well and good. If it is, then perhaps all the actions outlined by Mr Teo have not been sufficient to eradicate it.

Does the NEA have data to show the state of the littering problem over the years? Do we need to step up enforcement action, refresh public education programmes or think of other creative approaches?

One need not look further than bus stops and the public carparks near food centres in housing estates to see the litter on the ground, often within metres of rubbish bins.

The war on littering is waged not just so we can enjoy clean public places. It is also to foster a sense of public-mindedness and responsibility in citizens and residents for the environment that we all share.

Education and persuasion are the best approaches. However, when that fails, recalcitrant offenders need to be severely punished.

Francis Yeoh

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