2008 Waste Statistics and Current Waste Situation in Singapore (Part Three)

March 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Insights

Continued from Part Two, which looks at the % composition by weight of the waste output, waste disposed and waste recycled in 2008.

Just to recap, we concluded that the focus should be to achieve greater waste reduction in Paper/Cardboard, Plastics and Food Waste, as they are common in households and offices, and there exist opportunities for projects and campaigns to reduce their output.

Besides waste reduction, let’s take a look at the recycling rate of the different waste in 2008.

recycling

As mentioned in Part Two, the waste quantity of construction debris and ferrous metal being recycled are high. The recycling rate is 98% for construction debris and 94% for ferrous metal.

On the other hand, the recycling rate for plastics (9%) and food waste (12%) is much lower. The recycling rate for paper/cardboard is 48%, which means that half of the paper and cardboard waste generated ends up being burned in the incineration plants.

Clearly, more effort need to be put in to first reduce the waste output of Food Waste, Paper/Cardboard and Plastics, and then to recycle them when they are generated as waste.

Let’s look at some local and overseas campaigns and projects to find opportunities for waste reduction.

Love Food Hate Waste

Reduce food waste - Love Food Hate Waste

The Love Food Hate Waste campaign in the UK aims to:

raise awareness of the need to reduce food waste. The campaign shows that by doing some easy practical everyday things in the home we can all waste less food, which will ultimately benefit our purses and the environment too.

The website is a fun and interactive platform to learn about food waste and how to reduce them. It includes a Portion Calculator that shows you how much to cook depending on the number of people, and ways to measure it. There’s also a 2-week menu, recipes for cooking leftover, and food storage tips.

Food for All

Food for All is a youth initiative dedicated to food-related issues in Singapore.

Food for All’s mission is to encourage conversations amongst various stakeholders in the food industry – producers, consumers and everyone in between – in order to achieve the aim of creating an equitable and sustainable food system in Singapore and beyond.

Their recent Food Report 2008 gives an excellent summary on the issues of hunger, agriculture, food security, ethical food, and nutrition in Singapore. The report also looks at the gaps within the local food system requiring both immediate and long-term action.

Opportunities for Food Waste Reduction

We need a more holistic approach to reducing food waste in Singapore, and go beyond the current recycling of food waste after it has been generated. We can learn from the Love Food Hate Waste campaign on reducing food waste due to preparation, and also from Food for All’s report, which has good suggestions such as implementing Food Banks and food distribution systems.

To reduce food waste, we should look at the different food stages:

  1. Food Production (ensure that enough food is grown or imported, and that there are no excess wastage during transportation and  storage)
  2. Food Preparation (prevent food wastage through proper storage, good cooking habits, and sufficient food portions)
  3. Food Consumption (change eating habits and buy enough food to prevent wastage)
  4. Food Distribution (sell or give unsold or soon-to-be expired food and products to the needy)
  5. Food Reuse and Recycling (encourage food waste composting, or producing enzyme, and biogas generation using anaerobic digestion)

The different government agencies such as NEA, AVA, HPB and CDCs should also work together to coordinate programmes and campaigns to reduce food waste.

To be continued, watch out for Part Four.

Don’t Waste Food

December 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Reduce

Singaporeans waste a lot of food each year. In 2013, we threw away about 0.8 million tonnes of food waste and only 13% was recycled. We should not waste food and let’s try to find ways to reduce food wastage in our homes, for our events and for companies that produce food products.

Here’s a few tips:

For Homes

Before cooking, confirm the amount of food needed and plan the type of food to be cooked and how to cook the food. This helps you to prevent excessive food wastage.

You can also refer to the food storage chart from the AVA website to check some guidelines on how long you can keep your food in the refrigerator. By keeping to the food storage duration and temperature, you can reduce food spoilage.

For Events

Confirm the number of participants attending the event and their dietary requirements. This would help you to prepare or order the right amount of food. It might also be good to cater slightly less food (about 10 to 20 percent) than required so as to avoid unnecessary wastage.

Arrange for any leftover food to be given to the venue staff, event organiser or donate it to a charity. The leftover food should not be wasted.

For Food Companies

If your company has unsold or soon-to-be expired food products, you can sell them at a cheaper price before the expiry date to clear stock or donate the food products to schools, charitable organisations or anyone who wants them before the expiry date.

You can also contact the following organisations:

A local non-profit organisation, Food from the Heart, collects unsold bread and pastries from bakeries and hotels and distributes them to welfare organisations, needy families and individuals.

Food Bank Singapore collects excess or unwanted food from food companies, retailers and home consumers, and distributes them to the needy.

More Tips

Also check out more tips on reducing food waste from the Save Food Cut Waste campaign.