'Envoys' to curb littering: Will the soft approach work?

Where enforcement and punishment do not work, what little chance will a little persuasion help?! Pardon me from being pessimistic. I just can't imagine a little persuasion may be feasible in this littering issue. It should be enforcement and punishment--the harsher, the better--and of course, more publicity to 'educate' the public about the consequence. Even better, publish a hall of shame of shameful offenders caught littering. With their photos & names!!

WHERE enforcement and punishment do not work, a little persuasion may help - that is the thinking of Queenstown constituency as it launched Singapore's first community patrol group of Litter-Free Ambassadors (LFAs) yesterday.

The ambassadors, mostly recruited via the grassroots, will conduct patrols at least once a month at known hot spots for litter.

And while they cannot arrest or fine litterbugs, they will persuade the culprits to pick up their litter. The LFAs will also look out for overflowing bins and areas badly affected by litter.

They will record their observations for the National Environment Agency (NEA) and grassroots community groups to take appropriate measures to improve the areas' cleanliness.

In an effort to create a new anti-littering social norm, and as part of the NEA's latest campaign, Queenstown's community patrols will start by targeting a litter hot spot in Stirling Road, where 778 litterbugs have been caught since 2007.

Ambassadors like retiree Alice Lee, 62, will patrol the neighbourhood and convince litterbugs to change their habits.

From Straits Times, "'Envoys' to curb littering".


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