clean tables campaign

SINGAPORE: While diners are not required to wipe their tables clean, they should not leave any litter behind, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Tuesday (Oct 17). The agency was responding to a viral TikTok video showing a man being asked by an NEA officer to “clean your table”.

The TikTok video, which surfaced last Friday (Oct 13), was posted by a user who goes by the handle khuranasahib_pb04. In the video, the man asks, “You’re saying to me if I dirty the table, I’m supposed to wipe the table?” The NEA officer calmly responds: “Clean your table.”

@khuranasahib_pb04

Please tell me someone now its my duty to wipe the table also as per your officer they told me to wipe table also @National Environmental AgencyCapCut fyp singapore

♬ original sound – 🇮🇳Pankaj🇮🇳 – 🇮🇳Pankaj🇮🇳

The comments showed a range of reactions, with some users supporting the idea of cleaning hawker centre tables, while others expressed scepticism or disapproval, suggesting it might not be their responsibility. A few users proposed alternative solutions, such as providing wipes, and some questioned the consistency of cleanliness in hawker centres.

On Oct 17 at 10 am, NEA addressed the issue on their Facebook page: “We are aware of a video circulating online between an NEA enforcement officer and a diner outside Tekka Market and Hawker Centre. The diner had been issued a warning for not clearing his glass and drink can when he left the table. While diners are not required to wipe the tables after use, we would like to remind diners that no one should leave behind any litter on or around the tables. These include tissues, wet wipes, drink cans, shells, and bones.” NEA added: “We encourage diners to keep the table clean as a gesture of courtesy to the next diner.”

NEA started the Clean Tables Campaign on Feb 6 to engage Singaporeans to “do their part in keeping our environment clean and hygienic”. NEA noted that everyone should remember to:

  1. Keep the table clean for the next diner
  2. Clear your tissues and wet wipes
  3. Return your dirty trays and crockery

It is an offence to leave behind dirty trays and crockery and litter on the tables, such as:
• Used tissues and wet wipes
• Straws
• Wrappers
• Canned drinks
• Plastic bottles
• Food remnants such as bones and shells

Not picking up wrappers, straws, tissues, or anything that has dropped/blown off the table onto the floor is also an offence. However, accidentally spilling drinks or gravy on the table is not an offence.

The Clean Tables Campaign supports the Environmental Sanitation Regime and SG Clean movement, encouraging improved cleanliness in public spaces and personal hygiene. The campaign encourages diners to take responsibility for keeping public dining places clean and safe, emphasizing the importance of freeing up cleaners for more critical tasks.

Enforcement of these guidelines began on Sept 1, 2021, with penalties for non-compliance, primarily targeting the leaving of dirty trays, crockery, litter, and various items on tables. NEA also stated that it will continuously monitor the ground situation and adjust its enforcement strategy as the situation warrants.

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