Singapore's food waste increased by 40 per cent in the past decade, survey says
18th October 2017 17:18 - Food
Singapore’s food waste increased by 40 per cent in the past decade, survey says: According to a survey commissioned by Electrolux Singapore, food waste contributes to 10 per cent of Singapore’s total waste, yet only 14 per cent of food waste is recycled.
In hope to better understand how food is managed, the survey asked 1,000 households in Singapore about how they manage their food waste.
Figures found that 85 per cent claimed they do not consume food before the indicated sell-by date and the average household throws away $170 worth of food and drinks per year.
This figure is expected to increase due to Singapore’s growing population and economic activity, however 72 per cent of respondents admitted that they are aware of the fact that some foods can still be consumed after its sell-by date.
As a result of this, according to the National Environment Agency (NEA), food waste has increased by 232,100 tonnes between the years 2007 and 2016.
Further figures showing the amount of food wasted and the amount of food recycled by the tonne, are as followed:
Food waste disposed of
· 2007 – 507,700
· 2016 – 679,900
Food waste recycled
· 2007 – 51,200
· 2016 – 111,100
In order to prevent the considerable amount of food waste, Singapore are focussing on effective food waste management strategies, with a view to becoming a “Zero Waste Nation” under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint (2015).
The most preferred strategies are as followed:
1. Prevent and reduce food wastage at source
Helping people to understand sell-by dates, effective storage solutions, etc.
2. Redistribute unsold/excess food
Encouraging people to donate unwanted food.
3. Recycle/treat food waste
This is done by separating non-food items that may interfere with the recycling process and using them for sustainable development.
4. Recover energy
Food waste that cannot be recycled will be disposed of at the waste-to-energy plants for recovery of energy.
To help effectively reduce the amount of food wasted, the NEA has introduced on-site treatment systems in schools, hotels and shopping centres, to convert their food waste to compost in order to help landscaping.
Additionally, the NEA are also conducting a pilot project to assess the practicality of transporting food waste to an off-site treatment facility, where 40 tonnes of food waste and used water sludge can be recycled and used to enhance energy recovery.
Commenting on the food waste management strategies already used in Singapore shopping centres, the NEA said: "There is, therefore, much potential for waste minimisation and recycling in shopping malls. This will help prolong the lifespan of Semakau landfill, which will be filled by 2035 if we persist with our current waste disposal habits."
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