Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stiffer penalties for litterbugs

SINGAPORE: The National Environment Agency (NEA) will be increasing the penalties for littering. From April 1, first-time offenders will be fined S$300 for minor littering - up from the existing fine of S$200.

Minor littering is classified as irresponsibly discarding items like cigarette butts, match-sticks, parking coupon tabs or even sweet wrappers.

Repeat offenders will be slapped with a fine and corrective work order or CWO.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, stressed that this is necessary to ensure continued deterrence as statistics have shown the problem to be on the rise.

Speaking in Parliament, he said: "NEA has already committed additional resources to clean up littering hotspot areas such as Little India, Chinatown and Geylang. This cannot continue indefinitely.

"We must tackle the source of the problem - littering. NEA has stepped up enforcement against littering and the number of offenders caught increased from about 4,000 in 2005 to 33,000 in 2008. The increase clearly shows that littering remains a concern in Singapore and we should work hard to tackle this problem."

Dr Yaacob noted that NEA is aware of their enforcement limitations, but the agency will continue to focus its efforts at littering hotspots to achieve maximum effectiveness.

Similarly, NEA will continue to review the need to increase other punitive measures against littering.

- 938LIVE.

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