On Thursday, 15th December 2022, the last webinar following each of the categories of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact under the umbrella of the Asia Pacific Food Policy Training was held, thanks to the cooperation between the MUFPP Secretariat and the International Urban and Regional Cooperation (IURC) programme.
This time around the webinar focused on how cities cities are working to reduce food waste, as well as ways they are exploring to manage waste in a more sustainable way, adopting a circular economy approach.
Gathering over 60 participants, the webinar was structured as follows: welcoming remarks from both the IURC and the City of Milan, a brief introduction to the topic, an overview of Milan’s Food Waste Hubs, experiences from Asia Pacific with Bangkok and Singapore.
The MUFPP Secretariat introduced the topic, giving an overview of the 4 recommended actions falling under the Food Waste category and the respective 4 indicators in order to provide a better understanding of what can be done to assess and reduce food waste and prevent food loss.
Soon after, the city of Milan gave a quick run-through of its circular food system. Reminding us of the importance of a global analysis of the food system as well as data collection, the city shared its work in the field. Milan’s school canteen system, particularly, can be a great source of food waste, but the municipality has managed to convert the food waste into something beneficial for the citizens through its donation. In January 2019, Milan opened its very first Food Waste Hub successfully lowering food waste over the years.
Next up was Bangkok. To minimise food waste and to better the recycling system, the metropolitan administration organised a 57-day operation in three pilot districts while also opening an online registry to better monitor food waste sorting points.
Bangkok is also working on the food recovery side, working together with organisations like Scholars of Sustenance Thailand and VV Share Foundation to recover surplus food to be donated to those most vulnerable.
While Singapore introduced its Zero Waste Strategy and Food Waste Management Strategy. Planning to achieve a 70% recycling rate overall by 2030, the city aims to become a Zero Waste Nation.
Food waste represents 12% of total waste generated in Singapore. Out of 817,000 tonnes, 19% is recycled, whereas 81% is disposed of. Therefore, Singapore is working on a variety of food waste management strategies such as prevention and reduction of food waste at source, redistribution of excess food, recycling food waste and, lastly, energy recovery.
The now concluded Asia Pacific Food Policy Training series was very fruitful and successful as it gathered 200 participants from 14 countries and 50 cities in the region.
Thank you all for the wonderful experience and if you want to rewatch one of the sessions, you can visit our YouTube channel