Compass One mall pledges support to reduce food wastage
Tenants will donate leftover cooked food, fresh produce to Food Bank
Compass One mall in Sengkang yesterday became the first mall here to pledge support for Food Bank Singapore's Food Wastage Reduction & Fight Hunger movement.
The initiative involves five tenants - Kopitiam, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Soup Restaurant, Ichiban Sushi and Hong Kong Sheng Kee Pau.
Food Bank collects leftover food from businesses and consumers around Singapore, and distributes it to over 300 charity organisations here.
This distribution reaches up to 150,000 people islandwide.
Leftover cooked food and fresh produce from Compass One tenants will be collected by Food Bank and sent to a laboratory for food safety testing before it is distributed to partner charity organisations.
The mall also has collection points for shoppers to donate excess non-perishable items.
At the launch of the initiative at Compass One mall yesterday, Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, addressed the growing problem of food wastage in Singapore.
Last year, Singapore generated 760,000 tonnes of food waste, she said. It is equivalent to each person throwing away two bowls of rice every day.
Said Dr Khor: "Order only what you can finish. Or if you cook at home, try to buy and cook only what you can."
She asked Singaporeans to help make a difference in reducing food waste, with the ministry designating this year as a Year Towards Zero Waste.
Ms Nichol Ng, 41, co-founder of Food Bank Singapore said: "With the increasing cost of living, there are people among us who have to go hungry and are food-insecure.
"Many food and beverage establishments will throw food away after a certain time, because they want to keep the best food for their customers. But the food is not spoiled, they just have a timeline to follow."
Ms Ng said the idea is to "change people's mindset on excess food".
Previously, the mall had also collaborated with waste management companies ViroGreen to provide e-waste recycling points, and 800 Super for redistributing unwanted clothes.
Said Ms Sharon Tan, centre general manager of Compass One mall: "We aim to be a one-stop collection hub, so the community can have easy access and know where to recycle."
Mr Sidney Chua, deputy head of the urban farming company Edible Garden City, told The New Paper that food waste is especially prevalent in produce, as people tend to overlook "ugly food", or produce that is not aesthetically pleasing.
He added: "When produce is thrown away, it gets incinerated, and due to the high moisture content, a lot of pollution is released into the air.
"We can use food waste to create fertiliser, but the point is not to get rid of, but to reduce food waste in the first place."
Dr Khor hopes that other shopping malls too, will take up the pledge.
She said: "Becoming a zero waste nation is not an impossible dream. Let us all do our part because every positive effort counts."
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