Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

NEA launches initiative to find ways to cut food, packaging waste

SINGAPORE — To obtain more data for crafting programmes to reduce domestic waste here, the National Environment Agency (NEA) today (Nov 24) called for a tender to conduct, for the first time, a waste audit of about 300 selected households.

SINGAPORE — To obtain more data for crafting programmes to reduce domestic waste here, the National Environment Agency (NEA) today (Nov 24) called for a tender to conduct, for the first time, a waste audit of about 300 selected households.

The data will help the NEA to establish the potential for the further reduction of food and packaging waste in Singapore, the agency said in a press release.

“The audit will support Singapore’s plans to achieve our vision of being a Zero Waste Nation under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint,” said an NEA spokesperson.

The waste audit is expected to start sometime early next year and be completed by the middle of the year.

Households that agree to participate in the waste audit will have their waste collected on pre-arranged dates.

Before that, the winning contractor will have to design a questionnaire for the households to complete to help with data analysis.

At least one dedicated plastic bag will be provided for households to bag their waste for the day.

The collected waste will then be sent to a designated site, sorted into different waste streams — such as food and packaging waste — and weighed to determine the quantities of the waste in the various streams.

Food waste will also be further sorted into avoidable and unavoidable food waste.

Data from the avoidable food waste, such as expired food products and leftover food, can indicate the potential for households to reduce food wastage, noted the NEA.

The 300 households will be randomly selected from a pool of households that had previously participated in a consumer survey related to food wastage.

Interested bidders will have to submit a Waste Audit Plan that shows its proposed approach to identify the households to be selected, their proposed methodology to collect, transport, segregate and analyse the waste samples.

In the final report of the audit, the NEA will look out for the median and average amount of food waste disposed by the household sector, the proportion of avoidable and unavoidable food waste by household type and the overall household sector, among other things.

Food waste accounts for about 10 per cent of the total waste generated in Singapore, but less than 15 per cent of it is recycled.

Last year, 788,600 tonnes of food waste was generated, of which only 13 per cent was recycled.

Paper, plastic and glass waste accounted for 16.5 per cent, 11.6 per cent and 1.1 per cent, respectively, of the total waste generated in Singapore last year.

Mr Eugene Tay, director of Green Future Solutions, an environmental consultancy firm, said the waste audit will be able to gather more details and data about domestic waste compared with the annual waste audit that the NEA already conducts.

While more data is helpful in developing waste regulations, he noted that the more important issue is what the NEA does with the data.

“The audit does not result in reduction of waste — that comes from policies and regulations,” Mr Tay added.

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa