Sentosa launches litter-free initiative to keep the island clean

Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) launched its first litter-free programme on Thursday in an effort to encourage its staff on the island to keep their offices and areas like the beaches clean.

As part of the initiative called SELF, short for Sentosa Embraces Litter Free, the leisure group's employees will pick litter around the island once every two months.

They will also clear their own rubbish in their office spaces at the end of every work day, and bring it to common waste disposal points.

The group has 1,200 employees across 11 offices, including its main corporate office on the island and subsidiaries like the Mount Faber Leisure Group and the Sentosa Golf Club.

As part of the launch, SDC chief executive Mike Barclay and the group's senior executive team, along with more than 160 employees, spent Thursday morning clearing litter along two of the island's beaches, Siloso and Palawan.

Mr Barclay told staff to make three commitments: not to litter, to pick up litter when they see it, and to remind people around them who litter to stop the bad habit.

"One of the things that tourists say they like about Sentosa is that it is clean," he said, adding that some 70 contract cleaners are responsible for the island's cleanliness.

Sentosa's initiative is part of the Keep Singapore Clean Movement, which is led by the Public Hygiene Council.

The council's chairman Liak Teng Lit, who joined the launch of SELF, said he hopes that the island can set an example for people to cultivate a culture of civic consciousness.

"One Sentosa done like a mini-Japan is better than a dozen other people or companies who say they have pledged or done something," he said.

The leisure group has also sent 144 staff, mainly frontline staff who interact most with visitors and tourists daily, to attend training courses conducted by the Public Hygiene Council in October last year.

The training helped them learn skills to approach and engage people who litter.

Another 50 staff are going to be trained by the National Environment Agency as litter-free enforcers this month. They will be able to fine litterbugs in action.