95 partners pledge to cut food waste, use of disposables

Close to 100 partners, including hotels, food and beverage outlets, and schools, have pledged to reduce food wastage and the use of disposables as part of a National Environment Agency (NEA) campaign that was launched on Monday.

This is almost double the number from last year, when 59 partners took part in the first edition of the Say Yes To Waste Less campaign.

Companies will encourage their customers to plan their meals in advance and to indicate if they want smaller food portions so as to reduce food wastage.

Customers will also receive free food toppings or loyalty points when they bring their own takeaway containers.

For instance, bubble tea chain HeyTea offers customers a 50-cent discount when they bring their own tumblers.

Of the 95 organisations supporting NEA's campaign, 45 are new, while the remaining 50 have been on board since last year.

Together, they encompass more than 2,100 premises this year.

Newcomers include DBS Bank, which is the first bank to join the campaign.

Since this month, DBS has partnered Chope to offer discounts of up to 50 per cent at a slew of dining outlets in the final hours before closing, to reduce the amount of fresh produce wasted.

Also newly on board the campaign is home-grown coffee chain Huggs Coffee.

The coffee shop will be repurposing used coffee grounds into lifestyle products such as scrubs and fertilisers from this month.

Food waste has increased by about 20 per cent over the last 10 years, said NEA.

 
 
 

It also has plans to turn used coffee bags into totes.

Food waste, which is one of the largest waste streams in Singapore, has increased by about 20 per cent over the last 10 years, said NEA.

The Republic generated 744,000 tonnes of food waste last year.

This is equivalent to each individual discarding two bowls of food a day.

Separately, of the domestic waste disposed of last year, 200,000 tonnes were disposables, including items such as carrier bags and takeaway containers.

This amount is enough to fill 400 Olympic-size swimming pools.

NEA chief executive Tan Meng Dui said that he was encouraged by the growing number of partners who have come on board to support the agency's anti-waste campaign.

"We hope to mobilise more of the public towards the habit of bringing their own reusables and reducing food wastage, to create a more sustainable future for Singapore," he added.

LISTEN TO GREEN PULSE PODCAST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2020, with the headline '95 partners pledge to cut food waste, use of disposables'. Print Edition | Subscribe