Mr Gan Thiam Poh
Deputy Chairman of the GPC for Environment and Water Resources
Ladies and Gentlemen
1 Good afternoon, residents of Seng Kang. Today we are here to launch a community initiative on a topic that is close to the hearts of Singaporeans — food.
2 Singaporeans enjoy their food, be it at home, at a hawker centre, or in a restaurant. Unfortunately, our love for food has also contributed to a high volume of food waste, which is a key concern for my Ministry. In 2018, we generated 760,000 tonnes of food waste. This is equivalent to two bowls of rice per person per day.
3 This is why we have designated 2019 as our Year Towards Zero Waste. We want to encourage Singaporeans to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, and make Singapore a Zero Waste Nation. How do we do this? Let me share two simple ways you can make a difference in helping to reduce food waste.
4 First, when eating out, try to do three things: i) Order only what you can finish; ii) Ask for less rice or noodles if you are not going to finish them; and iii) Say ‘no’ to side dishes that you won’t eat.
5 Second, if you cook at home, try to buy and cook only what you can finish. Rice, noodles and bread are the most commonly wasted food items in households. And one quarter of households throw away spoilt or rotten food because they either bought too much or did not realise they had food hidden at the back of their fridge. This kind of waste is preventable, and will save you money if you are able to reduce it.
Compass One’s Support of Food Waste Reduction
6 Achieving our vision for zero waste will require a whole-of-nation effort. Businesses also play an important role. I am pleased that Compass One has pledged support for The Food Bank’s “Food Wastage Reduction & Fight Hunger” movement.
7 This is the first time that a shopping mall is partnering tenants and shoppers to donate excess cooked food and fresh produce to The Food Bank, which manages and distributes donated food to over 300 charity organisations and beneficiaries in Singapore. This is a commendable effort, and I hope that other shopping malls and buildings will be inspired to do the same.
8 Apart from reducing food waste, Compass One is working with community partners to collect e-waste, plastic bottles and clothes for recycling and distribution. I hope the residents in Sengkang will participate actively in these efforts.
9 Becoming a Zero Waste Nation is not an impossible dream. Let us all do our part to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, because every positive effort counts.