PSM: Declare war on unbridled food wastage, not a dead man’s cremains

PSM: Declare war on unbridled food wastage, not a dead man’s cremains

The Malaysian government should declare war on food waste, rather than going berserk and foaming in the mouth over a dead man’s cremains.

According to World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), food waste generates 11% of greenhouse gas emissions compare to world aviation which generates 2% of global emissions. Food waste comprises nearly half of Malaysia landfill waste contributing to climate crisis.

Malaysia have imported RM34.2 billion within the first eight months. Food import will cross RM52 billion by end of the year with most of the food will end in landfill. Malaysia food import is higher than the remittance from migrant workers (RM40.6 billion, 2018).

SWCorp reported that Malaysians threw away 16,688 tonnes of food daily which could feed 12 million people a day. The food waste disposal increases between 15%-20% during festive period. Malaysia needs urgently tackle food wastage to curtail ringgit free-fall, shrinking landfills space, climate crisis and food sovereignty.

Here are some steps to tackle food waste:

1. Local council should coordinate with apartment Joint Managed Bodies (JMB) to collect unutilised food from their residents. Selangor, Penang and Johor are the biggest food waste producers and with the most apartment dwellers. The food waste could be sent to foodbank.

2. Push restaurants, eateries, fast food and stalls to have multi-size servings. The current single size serving is considered ‘too big’ for many Malaysian generating lots of leftover food. Multi-size serving allow people to right-size their serving and reduce their food expenditure.

3. Welfare agency could buy excess produce at 1/5 at selling price from market traders and resell to B40 groups. The demand for fresh stocks by middle to high-income community forces traders to dump their stock on daily. This mechanism will also improve nutrition access for Malaysia lower income group.

4. Agriculture and Agro-based Ministry should conduct seminars to teach event planners, caterer and organiser on how to minimise food waste in their respective industries. There sufficient awareness but lack of capacity and access to knowledge to minimise food waste.

Sharan Raj is central committee member of Parti Sosialis Malaysia

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food wastageParti Sosialis MalaysiaSharan Raj