Businesses play important role in reducing food waste

The Food Waste Reduction campaign urges everyone to buy, order or cook only what he can finish.
The Food Waste Reduction campaign urges everyone to buy, order or cook only what he can finish.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

We thank Mr Sean Lim for his letter (Charge less if customers request reduced portions, Feb 20).

Each year, Singapore generates about 800 million kg of food waste, with rice, noodles and bread being the most commonly wasted food items.

The Food Waste Reduction campaign urges everyone to buy, order or cook only what he can finish.

When ordering food, consumers are encouraged to ask for less rice or noodles that they can't finish, and say "no" to side dishes that they won't eat.

We agree with Mr Lim that businesses have an important role to play in reducing food waste.

Indeed, one of the practices we promote among food-retail businesses is for them to offer different portion sizes to consumers.

There are many other possible ways to reduce food waste, and these are listed in our Food Waste Minimisation Guidebook For Food Retail Establishments that is accessible online.

It is heartening to see a growing awareness among businesses with some restaurants offering smaller portion sizes at lower prices, and canteen food stalls at several schools across Singapore also offering similar options.

This year has been designated as the Year Towards Zero Waste, and the National Environment Agency urges all stakeholders to take steps to reduce food waste.

With everyone's efforts, we can move Singapore closer towards a Zero Waste Nation.

Desmond Tan

Director, Waste and Resource Management Department

National Environment Agency