E-guidebook to reduce food waste launched for retail food establishments

An employee at Fairmont Singapore loading food waste into a recycling machine.
An employee at Fairmont Singapore loading food waste into a recycling machine.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Amid mounting food waste, a guidebook to help retail food establishments minimise waste across the supply chain was launched on Monday (Oct 24).

The e-book, which is accessible on the National Environment Agency's (NEA) website, provides a step-by-step guide on how retail food establishments can develop a food waste reduction plan tailored to their needs.

Tips include using smart technologies for planning and inventory management. Information on food waste treatment and recycling options are also provided.

The guidebook, which was developed by the NEA and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, was launched by Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor at an awards ceremony for hotels that have implemented waste reduction measures.

Speaking at the event at the Mandarin Oriental Singapore, Dr Khor said food waste is a major concern in Singapore, with 790,000 tonnes generated in 2015. Over the past decade, the amount of food waste produced in Singapore has increased by 45 per cent, she said.

Urging hotels to play their part, she said: "Last year, Singapore generated about 7.7 million tonnes of waste, which is 50 per cent more than what was generated 10 years ago. If this rate of growth for waste disposal continues, our only offshore landfill - Semakau Landfill - will be filled up by 2035. This is not a happy prospect."

In all, 14 hotels were recognised for their efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle waste at the biennial 3R Awards for Hotels, which is led by the NEA and the Singapore Hotels Association. A total of 28 hotel submissions were received in 2016, up from 25 in 2014.

Top awards went to Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, Mandarin Oriental Singapore and Marina Bay Sands for efforts such as donating excess food and soap, using food waste recycling machines and retailing eco-friendly products such as swimwear made from recycled plastic bottles.

The e-book is available at www.nea.gov.sg/FWMGR