Implement 'pay as you trash' model

Using biological means to reduce the amount of food waste that Singapore burns and buries at Pulau Semakau is a big step forward in the right direction ("S'pore scientists mine butanol from food waste"; July 10).

However, this only addresses the problems downstream. More needs to be done holistically to address the root cause.

Only a mere 13 per cent of food waste produced in Singapore last year was recycled. At the rate that we are consuming and disposing our food waste, we will require one Semakau Landfill every 30 years. This is unsustainable in the long term.

A more effective way is to tackle the root cause upstream, which is end-consumers.

South Korea has an effective food waste disposal system in place.

It has a "pay as you trash" model to encourage households to cut down on their waste disposal, if not, they must pay more to dispose rubbish.

If this is implemented in Singapore, it may help to reduce food wastage, as it shifts some of the responsibility to households.

It is natural for us to find ways to avoid paying more to dispose food waste from home.

Therefore, it will be an excellent tool to alter our habits and behaviours, make us more aware and mindful of the things we dispose, and make Singapore a more sustainable place to live in.

Marcus Seetoh Junqi