Warning or fine if trays not cleared at food courts after use from 1 Jan

·Editorial Team
·2 min read
Tables and chairs are taped up to encourage social distancing, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a food court in Singapore March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su
(Reuters file photo)

SINGAPORE — Be prepared to be fined if you do not clear your tray, crockery, and litter at a table after a meal at any coffeeshop or food court from 1 January next year.

The enforcement approach will be similar to those conducted at hawker centres, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) in a press release on Monday (30 August).

Enforcement for table littering at hawker centres, first announced in May, will begin this week, following a three-month advisory period. First-time offenders will be issued a written warning and second-time offenders will face a composition fine of $300 from Wednesday.

Similarly, a two-month advisory period from 1 November to 31 December will take place before enforcement is rolled out at coffeeshops and food courts.

During this period, safe distancing ambassadors and officers from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) deployed at such places will continue to remind operators to ensure that diners clear their tables, with no enforcement action to be taken.

Posters and banners will also progressively be placed at these premises to remind diners to clear their tables.

The NEA said that coffeeshops and food courts are currently in the midst of installing tray and crockery return infrastructure.

"The SFA will continue to engage operators on their responsibility to implement such infrastructure in their premises, and to tap into NEA’s Clean Tables Support Scheme (CTSS) to defray the costs of putting in place tray return infrastructure and for the purchasing of trays," the agency added.

The average tray return and crockery return rate at hawker centres has improved from about 30 per cent to 65 per cent since the clean tables campaign was launched in February, said Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, who visited the Sims Vista Market & Food Centre on Monday morning.

"I thank diners for cleaning up after themselves, and cleaners for adapting to the revised table-cleaning workflow," she added.

The NEA said that it will progressively introduce trolleys from end-August, where needed, to complement existing tray and crockery return racks at hawker centres.

These trolleys could be located in areas with tight aisles in between existing tray and crockery return racks to reduce walking distance, it added.

Additionally, the agency is installing a further 150 new permanent tray and crockery return racks as well as providing cooked food stallholders with some new trays.

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