Singapore looks to curb widespread food wastage after 50% increase

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Related tags: Recycling

As Singapore’s National Environment Agency launches a campaign to curb food wastage, it was revealed that residents each dumped roughly 150kg of food last year.

A report commissioned by the NEA and Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore found that the country collectively wasted 687,200 tonnes of food in 2014. 

It said that eight in 10 respondents were concerned about throwing away uneaten food, with 90% of them feeling that it was a waste of money. Moreover, one in four Singapore residents admit to buying more food than is needed.

Ronnie Tay, NEA’s chief executive, said: “The amount of food waste generated in Singapore has seen a 1.5-fold increase in the past 10 years​. 

While we work to reduce food waste disposed of through means such as food waste recycling and redistribution of unsold and excess food, the preferred approach remains that of preventing food wastage in the first place​. 

We encourage everybody to buy only what he needs, or order only what he can finish, and help save the environment and resources by reducing food wastage​,” he said.

Nevertheless, the survey respondents said they were generally unwilling to compromise on freshness and absence of defects on food. Expired food, mouldy food and food that looked, smelled or tasted bad were the top three reasons given for throwing food away.

Concern for the environment "came a close second​,” the study reported.

To encourage people to cut food wastage, NEA is launching a campaign using posters and educational videos that compare the cost of food wastage, as well as other ways the equivalent money could be spent spent. These will be shown on digital and mobile media platforms, at bus-stop shelters, in newspapers and on TV. 

NEA will also partner various food retail businesses, including Cold Storage/Giant, Prime, Sheng Siong, NTUC FairPrice and Subway, to raise greater awareness among consumers on how they can reduce food wastage.

Related topics: Policy, South East Asia, Supply chain

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