M’sian households lose RM210 monthly in food waste disposal costs, says Reezal

PUTRAJAYA: Households in Malaysia on average lose RM210 per month, or RM2,600 a year, in terms of food waste disposal costs, says Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican.

He said the risk of not managing food waste involved the cost of treating food waste spent by each household, which was expected to increase from RM60 to RM150, and to RM160 to RM400 by 2025.

According to him, Malaysians produce 38,000 tonnes of solid waste daily, and of that amount, about 17,000 tonnes is food waste, of which an estimated 4,046 tonnes, or 24%, is avoidable food waste.

“Out of the amount of food waste that can be avoided, which is 4,046 tonnes, this amount can feed three million people for three meals a day,” he told reporters after launching the #JomTapau campaign, aimed at encouraging the community to value food and avoid waste, here.

Reezal Merican, in advising against over-preparation of food as well as food wastage to prevent them from ending up in landfills, said that the trend of food waste increases between 15% and 20% during festive seasons.

He said food waste affects the environment through the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas and the use of water resources, where one tonne of food waste produces 2.5 tonnes of CO2.

“If each individual manages to avoid wasting one kilogramme of food, as much as 2.5kg less CO2 is released.

“Meanwhile, from an economic point of view, if each individual manages to avoid one kilogramme of food waste, it will save RM11, where RM100 can be saved in a month for one family,” he said.

On the #JomTapau campaign, Reezal Merican said that it was one of the approaches to encourage the community to pack surplus food that is still good to take home, to avoid wastage.

The food appreciation campaign was introduced in 2015, and this year, the Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) implemented the campaign by focusing on food premises, such as restaurants, hotels and hawker centres. – Bernama