Shopping mall rubbish made up 7% of total waste disposed of in Singapore last year

Channel NewsAsia 13 Oct 17;

SINGAPORE: Rubbish from large shopping malls made up 7 per cent of the total waste discarded in Singapore last year, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a media release on Friday (Oct 13).

Last year, 225,000 tonnes of waste was disposed of by 172 shopping centres. This was out of a total of 245,000 tonnes of waste generated overall at these malls, meaning most of the waste was not recycled.

NEA said that although much of the waste could have been recycled and did not have to be incinerated, the average recycling rate for the sector remained low at 8 per cent in 2016.

"There is therefore much potential for waste minimisation and recycling in shopping malls," NEA said. "This will help prolong the lifespan of Semakau landfill, which will be filled by 2035 if we persist with our current waste disposal habits."

The 172 shopping centre included in the figures were large malls with more than 50,000 sq ft of net lettable area.

Announcing the launch of its 3R Awards for shopping malls, NEA said that the first waste reduction and recycling awards for mall operators in Singapore provide "a platform" for consumers to identify malls that have made a "concerted effort" to do their part for the environment.

This year's winners include 313@Somerset, IKEA Alexandra, Jem, Parkway Parade and The Shoppes at Marina Bay. Collectively all five malls reduced and recycled more than 3,037 tonnes of waste in 2016, saving S$230,000 in waste disposal costs, said NEA.

Waste minimisation efforts by the malls include the collection of used cooking oil to be recycled for biofuel by 313@somerset, and IKEA Alexandra's switch to reusable bags instead of disposable bags.

Beauty product retailer Kiehl's also won an award for its efforts to encourage customers to reuse and recycle products.

HALF OF SINGAPORE FOOD WASTE GENERATED BY COMMERCIAL SOURCES

In addition, about half of the food waste in Singapore is generated by non-domestic sources including supermarkets, food retail outlets and food manufacturers, NEA said.

To help supermarket operators reduce food waste disposal, NEA also announced the publication of a new guidebook.

The Food Waste Minimisation Guidebook for Supermarkets was unveiled by Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources at the 3R Awards ceremony.

Jointly developed by NEA and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, it aims to help supermarket operators reduce food waste disposal and includes best practice case studies such as selling fruit and vegetables with blemishes at a discount and marking down the prices of chilled meat and seafood that have been on display for a day.
Source: CNA/nc


Food-waste reduction guide for supermarkets launched as shopping malls are lauded for waste-cutting efforts
Samantha Boh Straits Times 13 Oct 17;

SINGAPORE - A guidebook to cut food waste at supermarkets was launched on Friday (Oct 13) by the National Environment Agency (NEA).

The guidebook provides a step-by-step guide on how supermarket operators can develop food-waste minimisation plans, and the cost savings that they can reap as a result of putting them in place.

Tips listed include setting up proper storage conditions to prevent spoilage and the redistribution of unsold food.

Non-domestic sources, including supermarkets, food retail outlets and food manufacturers, account for about half of the food waste generated in Singapore.

The NEA noted that some supermarkets are already doing their part to cut wastage.

For instance, the Dairy Farm supermarket chain has set up marked-down sections at its outlets, selling food products that are approaching their expiry dates at lower prices.

NTUC FairPrice does the same with blemished fruits and vegetables, and seafood and chilled meats that have been on display for a day. This has helped it cut the amount of food waste it produces per sq m of retail space from 11.6kg in 2014 to 6.3kg in 2016.

Meanwhile, Sheng Siong tracks its food waste at its central distribution centre, where food waste is separated from general waste, and the tonnage sent for disposal is recorded.

Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor said the guide will help supermarkets do even more.

On Friday, Dr Khor also lauded the waste-cutting efforts of five shopping mall operators and a retail tenant at the inaugural 3R Awards for Shopping Malls.

The award winners were malls 313@Somerset, Ikea Alexandra, Jem, Parkway Parade and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, and beauty products retailer Kiehl's Singapore.

Ikea Singapore was the first retail mall chain operator in Singapore to stop providing disposable shopping bags; it encourages its customers to buy reusable bags instead. In March 2016, it also started replacing disposable containers for takeaway meals with reusable ones.

Meanwhile, Jem has installed eco-digesters which convert two tonnes of organic waste into water each day. Parkway Parade has such digesters that convert 1.4 tonnes of organic waste into water each day. Festive decorations are also reused on other occasions.

Ms Ng Hsueh Ling, managing director for Singapore at Lendlease, which manages 313@Somerset, Jem and Parkway Parade, said: "Sustainability is a key guiding principle here at Lendlease, so each mall's business plan has to include environmental targets and an action plan with key sustainability initiatives to undertake."

In 2016, large shopping malls of more than 50,000 sq ft of area that can be leased out collectively disposed of 225,000 tonnes of waste. This is 7 per cent of the total waste disposed of here.

But while more than 90 per cent of these malls have waste reduction plans in place, the average recycling rate was less than 10 per cent in 2016.

"Clearly, shopping malls need to step up their waste minimisation efforts," Dr Khor said.

"I call on more operators to join this national effort towards becoming a Zero Waste Nation," she added.


Supermarkets get tips to cut food waste
Step-by-step guidebook offers advice and explains cost savings firms can reap
Samantha Boh Straits Times 14 Oct 17;

With places like supermarkets and food retail outlets accounting for half of the food waste generated here, there was a need for tips on how such waste could be cut.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) decided a guidebook was timely. Not only does the book launched yesterday provide tips, it also explains the cost savings firms can reap as a result.

The step-by-step guide includes tips such as setting up proper storage conditions to prevent spoilage, and redistributing unsold food.

The NEA said non-domestic sources, which include supermarkets, food retail outlets and food manufacturers, account for about half of the food waste generated here, which has increased by about 40 per cent over the past 10 years.

Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor noted that some firms are already doing their part.

For instance, NTUC FairPrice sells blemished fruits and vegetables, and seafood and chilled meats that have been on display for a day, at marked-down prices. This has helped cut the amount of food waste it produces per sq m of retail space from 11.6kg in 2014 to 6.3kg last year.

Yesterday, Dr Khor lauded five shopping malls and a retail tenant for their waste-cutting efforts at the inaugural 3R Awards for Shopping Malls, held at Concorde Hotel Singapore. The award winners were malls 313@Somerset, Ikea Alexandra, Jem, Parkway Parade and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, and beauty products retailer Kiehl's Singapore.

WINNERS
Standalone malls category
• 313@somerset
• Ikea Alexandra

Mixed developments category
• Jem
• Parkway Parade
• The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Mall retail tenants category
• Kiehl's Since 1851 (Singapore)

Ikea Singapore was the first retail mall chain operator here to stop providing disposable shopping bags, in 2013. In March last year, it also replaced disposable containers for takeaway meals with reusable ones.

As for Jem, it has installed eco-digesters that convert two tonnes of organic waste into non-potable water each day.

But more can still be done.

Last year, large shopping malls of over 50,000 sq ft of area that can be leased out collectively disposed of 225,000 tonnes of waste. While that was 7 per cent of the total waste disposed here that year, just less than 10 per cent was recycled.

"Clearly, shopping malls need to step up their waste minimisation efforts," Dr Khor said.

"I call on more operators to join this national effort towards becoming a Zero Waste Nation."

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