In Singapore, committing a littering offence does not just mean intentionally dropping trash on the road; even if you accidentally leave something behind, you can be charged and fined S$300.
This is what happened to two Singaporeans who left a rubber band and a drinking can on separate occasions. Both were issued a S$300 fine each for littering and their fine tickets were circulated on-line.
One ticket showed a fine being issued for throwing a rubber band in a public area in Jurong East on May 23, 2019. The other was issued on the afternoon of May 16, after the offender was spotted leaving a canned drink behind.
Fines and penalties under EPHA
Under the Environment Public Health Act, a first-time offender will be fined S$300 as a warning.
The maximum fine for litterbugs can go up to S$2,000 for the first court conviction, S$4,000 for the second conviction, and S$10,000 for subsequent convictions.
Recalcitrant litterbugs may also be issued Corrective Work Orders (CWOs) compelling them to clean public places for at least three hours.
NEA’s intensified enforcement
The National Environment Agency (NEA) has fortified its efforts to enforce the law on littering offences.
Besides uniformed and non-uniformed NEA officers, cameras and video analytics are installed at hot spots to help monitor and catch litterbugs.
In 2018, around 39,000 tickets were issued, a 22% increase from the number of tickets issued in 2017. More CWOs were also issued to litterbugs in 2018.
About 2,600 CWOs were issued and this is 30% more than in 2017.
To make CWO offenders remember their offences, they are directed to wear a luminous pink and yellow vest, to make them more conspicuous while cleaning up public places.
With that kind of outfit, offenders will be more cautious next time as it will be embarrassing for them to be seen always wearing the vest as it will mean they have kept on dirtying Singapore. -/TISG