Why do people litter? Do they do it out of convenience, laziness, thoughtless spur of the moment actions, or intentionally without consideration for others? We would expect that for most people, keeping the environment clean comes naturally. We keep our homes clean and tidy, we clean and freshen up when we wake up every morning, and ladies beautify themselves to look attractive. So why do people still litter in Singapore and why is littering such a problem?
It could be that a good portion of our society do not even realize that they are technically littering as they go about their daily lives. Litter is any article and waste product that have been permanently discarded at an inappropriate place. For example, disposing an item on the ground around a waste bin constitutes littering. As long as your trash is not properly put into the bin, you are committing a littering offence.
Singapore is often described as a garden city with beautifully landscaped flora and fauna. However, it is extremely common to find soiled tissues and cigarette butts indiscriminately thrown around bushes and plants along walkways and street-sides. This is blatant littering and completely unacceptable. Trash of any sort must be thrown into a rubbish bin.
Our housing estate town councils offer bulky refuse removal services. Some individuals, however, choose to take the easy route and simply discard their bulky trash such as used furniture and appliances onto common walkways and void decks. This is inconsiderate and brings great inconvenience to fellow residents and worsens the workload of the housing estate cleaners. They have to take it upon themselves to cart away the bulky trash for proper disposal.
When we are out dining at the hawker center, we will usually resort to tissue paper to freshen and clean up ourselves after meals. We should also use our tissue paper to wipe away any spills that we may have left on the table. We must then discard the soiled tissues in a rubbish bin as tissues left behind on the table can get blown onto the floor and become litter. Of course, after every meal at hawker centers, food courts and coffee shops, we must return our trays and receptacles to the proper tray return
Singapore can be a much cleaner and nicer environment if everyone chipped in and played their part. Return your trays after each meal, discard your trash only in the rubbish bin and always make sure your trash is properly thrown into a empty bin. If the bin is full, hold on to your trash and search for the next nearest rubbish bin. As we approach the year end festive period in December, always be mindful to exercise personal responsibility and kindness towards others by keeping public shared spaces litter-free.
Let us all make Singapore a clean and endearing home for everyone.