Singapore takes littering so seriously that someone was slapped with a S$300 fine for shooting a couple of rubber bands onto a road

The offence was in violation of the Environment Public Health Act.
Lianhe Wanbao

Ever shot a rubber band playfully in public and thought it was nothing serious? Think again, because the act can be considered an offence in the clean and green city of Singapore.

On Monday, news of an individual being fined S$300 (US$271) quickly stirred up a debate online about whether the punishment fit the crime. The person’s wrongdoing was shooting two rubber bands that landed on a public road.

A photo of the ticket issued May 23 has since gone viral on social media.

On the Facebook page of road safety awareness group ROADS.sg, the post published on Sunday (May 26) read: “Man was fined $300 for shooting 2 rubber bands into the air that landed on public road. NEA officers saw it and informed him of the littering (offence) and issued him an enforcement ticket.”

According to the image posted, the nature of the offence was stated as: “You did throw rubber band in a public place”.

It was also stated in the ticket that the offence – which occurred near a loading bay in Jurong East – was in violation of Section 17(1)(A) of the Environmental Public Health Act (Chapter 95).

While some Facebook users praised the enforcement of the law regardless of the triviality of the deed, many also disagreed with the harsh penalty.

Several said that the significance of the crime does not make the offence any less wrong.

Others commented that the S$300 fine was too much for a couple of rubber bands shot onto a road.

Other Facebook users also cheekily suggested that the anti-littering enforcement could be taken a few steps further.

At time of writing, the Facebook post has already garnered nearly 800 reactions, over 350 comments and 920 shares.

In a statement released on Monday (May 27), NEA confirmed the veracity of the image.

It said that enforcement officers had observed the offender walking to his vehicle and shooting two rubber bands one after another onto a public road. They then informed the individual of the littering offence and issued him the ticket.

“We would like to remind the public that littering has environmental consequences, and keeping our environment clean by not littering is a gracious and socially responsible thing to do,” the NEA said.

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