Press Statement by Chief Minister of Penang and Penang Green Council Chairman, LimGuan Eng at KOMTAR on 12 June 2013:
In conjunction with the World Environment Day every 5 Jun, Penang Green Council (PGC) is organizing the World Environment Day Celebration 2013 on 16th June 2013 (Sunday), at Lebuh Pantai from 8.00 am to 12.00 noon.
The theme for this year’s World Environment Day celebrations is Think.Eat.Save. Think.Eat.Save is an anti-food waste and food loss campaign that encourages you to reduce your FOODprint. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), every year 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted. This is equivalent to the same amount produced in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa.
Malaysians are either overeating or wasting food, throwing away up to 930 tonnes of unconsumed food daily. This is equivalent to throwing away 93,000 10kg bags of rice each day.
Wastage of unconsumed food in Malaysia doubled over the past three years. This does not include leftover food. Unconsumed waste mostly consisted of expired bread, eggs and old or rotten fruit.
Peninsular Malaysia alone generated an estimated 25,000 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste daily of which 48% were food waste.
Some 355,000kg of food was thrown away daily in Penang last year. According to the Penang Municipal Council, on the island alone last year, food waste made up about 45% of the 288,377 tonnes of solid waste collected from domestic and commercial areas.
If food is wasted, it means that all the resources and inputs used in the production of all the food are also lost. For example, it takes about 16,000 litres of water goes into a cow’s food to make a hamburger. The resulting greenhouse gas emissions from the cows themselves, and throughout the food supply chain, all end up in vain when we waste food. This year’s theme – Think.Eat.Save – encourages you to become more aware of the environmental impact of the food choices you make and empowers you to make informed decisions.
On that day, Penang Green Citizens Cardholder can buy a limited edition WED T-shirt at member price RM20 (non-member RM25), we will be distributing special bookmark to advocate the cause. Other highlighted activities during the WED 2013 Celebration includes: School Marching Band performance, Low Carbon Transport (Electric Scooter/Car and Bicycle), Stage Performances, WED Theme Exhibition.
The Penang State Government has also taken the lead by requiring all government purchases be given priority to green products. Hopefully this new policy, such as using recycled paper for name cards, will help the green industry.
LIM GUAN ENG