E-book on food waste a step in the right direction

I applaud the National Environment Agency's (NEA) move to launch an e-book to help retail food establishments minimise waste across the supply chain ("Food waste: E-book's food for thought"; Oct 25).

With greater awareness of guidelines and tips to reduce food wastage, more establishments would be able to develop their own food waste reduction plan, and even involve their customers in their efforts.

Over the past 10 years, the amount of food being wasted has increased by 45 per cent. This rate of waste disposal puts stress on the Semakau Landfill, which is projected to run out of space by 2035.

While the e-book may not completely reduce the level of food waste to what it was 10 years ago, it is a step forward in guiding retail food establishments in the right direction to better manage their food production and wastage levels.

Hence, I hope that retail food establishments will actively utilise it.

By reducing food waste, the impact on land use for agriculture or landfills, water resources and climate change can be diminished, and additional food will be available for human consumption.

Besides launching the e-book, the NEA should also do more to educate restaurant owners on the guidelines on donating excess food, stressing the importance of hygiene.

For greater outreach to the public, the NEA could perhaps use tools such as social media and share tips and encourage restaurant owners to share pictures and write-ups to showcase their efforts on food donation.

This would enable a large audience to appreciate their efforts and encourage them to play a part in reducing food waste.

Tay Chin Kiong