Did you know that 788,600 tonnes of food were thrown away in Singapore last year? This accounts for one-tenth of waste produced here.
A survey by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) conducted from January to July this year found that while consumers here are concerned about wasting food, many had poor habits which could exacerbate the problem.
One in four people surveyed admitted to buying more food than needed. Most of them do so to ensure household members have “more than enough” to eat.
Nevertheless, eight in 10 survey respondents said they would reduce food waste to save money, and six in 10 said they would waste less food if they had better information on how to plan meals and store food adequately.
A focus group discussion held after the survey also found that consumers were more likely to waste food when eating at home compared to dining out, as they tend to buy more than what they eventually consume. In addition, many tend to shop on impulse, for example, buying food items on promotion, instead of being guided by checklists and meal plans.
To encourage Singaporeans to reduce food wastage, NEA is launching a multi-media campaign from 23 November. Look out for posters and educational videos on food wastage that will be featured on digital and mobile media platforms; at bus-stop shelters; in newspapers and on TV. These materials will draw comparisons between the cost of food wastage and what the money could be otherwise spent on.
The campaign will also include customised educational materials containing information on how to reduce food wastage within the home. For example, an online guide (www.cgs.sg/FWRToolkit) is available to provide suggestions on meal planning, food storage, as well as recipes and innovative ideas on how to use leftover food to create tasty dishes.
Posters and table-top stickers will also be placed at supermarket chains like Sheng Siong and FairPrice, as well as Subway sandwich outlets, to remind consumers not to waste food.
What else can be done to reduce food wastage in Singapore?
Source: “NEA to launch campaign to reduce food waste next week” (The Straits Times, 21 Nov 2015)