A photo of an National Environment Agency (NEA) ticket for a fine of $300 for littering circulated social media recently. The reason this ticket got so much attention was that the offence was specifically of “throwing rubber band in a public place”.
The man who was fined was caught shooting two rubber bands at Jurong East on 23 May around 12.44pm which landed on a public street.
The NEA told Channel NewsAsia that their enforcement officers saw a man walking towards his vehicle and shooting two rubber bands, one after the other, into the air. The rubber bands landed on the public road.
“Our officers thus informed him of the littering offence and issued him an enforcement ticket”, said the agency. They added that the offender “was cooperative throughout the officers’ engagement with him”.
NEA said: “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.”
Social media reactions to the issuance of the fine has been mixed. In the comments section of the photo posted on the ROADS.Sg Facebook page, some netizens voiced their disagreement that such a hefty fine was issued for such a minor offence of shooting rubber bands onto a public road:
While more people countered that littering is littering regardless of the size of the item that was tossed:
There were also a few who couldn’t resist the temptation to revive an old saying about how Singapore is a FINE city, referring to the fact that the country is known for enforcing very hefty fines for seemingly minor offences: