Did you know that the world aims to cut food waste in half by 2030 in line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3?
Thailand is working towards this goal. As the head of the Sub-committee on Food Waste Reduction, the Pollution Control Department (PCD) is mandated to develop a national strategy to reduce food waste and to implement and monitor food waste reduction measures.
At the workshop “Development of Thailand’s Food Waste Roadmap” organised by the PCD and GIZ on 26th – 28th August 2020 at Nikko hotel, participants from 3 sectors (food retailers, food service providers and consumers) were invited to voice their experiences, concerns and suggestions on how to improve food waste management.
Discussing the main challenges to reduce and better utilise food waste, the sector representatives made particular mention of insufficient knowledge and data, lack of incentives, high cost in logistics and management and the too few and costly innovations available.
The participants also mentioned the support needed to tackle the challenges. They suggested that focal organisations be assigned to be directly responsible for food waste management, that infrastructure and logistics support for food waste management be provided, and that an online platform to share knowledge and ‘how-to’s’ be set up along with sector networks or associations to exchange good practices.
The results of the workshop will be the basis for the roadmap development. The first draft is expected to be completed early in 2021. All relevant stakeholders will be invited to review the draft and give feedback before its finalisation.
“Based on a preliminary waste composition study in 4 major Thai cities, it was found that the amount of food waste amounts to between 33-54% of the solid waste collected. This results in a greater burden on solid waste management and causes greenhouse gases (GHG) emission,” noted Ms. Preeyaporn Suwannagate, the PCD’s Deputy Director-General
Dr. Alexander Raubold, Economic and Commercial Counsellor from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, emphasised the importance of stakeholder participation rather than a top-down approach based on Germany’s experiences in developing a national food waste strategy. “This is a global challenge that needs local action. We are happy to exchange our learnings and good practices with Thailand.”
The PCD and GIZ initiated the “Food Waste Situation Workshop” back in May 2019 to update Thailand’s status quo on food waste management and invite stakeholders to share their activities, plan and goals for food waste management.
“The Integrated Waste and Wastewater Management for GHG reduction” is a cooperation project between the Pollution Control Department and the waste component of GIZ’s Thai-German Climate Programme. Aiming to accomplish Thailand’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) goals, the project promotes better management of solid waste and wastewater from households to reduce GHG emissions and contribute to the country’s GHG mitigation targets.