PETALING JAYA: Seputeh MP Teresa Kok has called for the government to emulate France, Germany, and Japan’s food waste management systems to reduce food wastage.
The former primary industries minister said this is also in line with the government’s pledge to uphold the United Nation’s 12th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on sustainable consumption and production.
“France is the best country in reducing waste. They have banned food waste in grocery stores and legislated a law that grocery stores must donate edible food instead of throwing it out,” she said.
“In Germany, they have mandated that businesses which produce packaging must contribute towards its recycling and recovery cost.
“Meanwhile, Japan introduced a national food bank called Second Harvest to rescue edible food from grocery stores. Japan has also enacted a Food Recycling Law recently which diverts food waste into compost, animal feed, and energy,” Kok said in a message to mark the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction yesterday.
The DAP vice-chairman added that a UN report showed Malaysia wastes 8.3 million tonnes of food every year, meaning that each Malaysian wastes 259.82kg of food annually.
She also cited reports of massive food wastage at the Ramadan bazaars in Selangor earlier this year, with almost 74 tonnes of food being thrown away every day in the first week of the fasting month. She said this was a 45% increase from the 50.78 tonnes of food waste recorded daily at last year’s Ramadan bazaars.
In response, Kok hoped for more campaigns in schools and local communities to raise awareness of food waste and sustainable consumption.
“We can start the conversation in schools by encouraging sustainable home-grown farming and converting small patches of land into community farming,” she said.
“On a larger scale, we can begin a campaign on minimising food loss and improving waste management.”
Kok also urged the government to propose solutions for food loss and wastage issues as a means to safeguard food security in the upcoming Budget 2024.