Asia & Oceania

Both continents are nurturing countries that now lead the fight against food waste

Asia faces severe challenges when it comes to infrastructure and technology at the start of the supply chain, while Oceania focuses on educating the public on the impact of their actions. Both continents have now realised that effective waste policies will lead them towards greater sustainability.


Australian consumers throw away around 3.1 million tonnes of food per year—that’s close to 17,000 grounded 747 jumbo jets, while another 2.2 million tonnes is disposed of by the commercial and industrial sector (Department of the Environment and Energy, 2017). Australia’s National Food Waste Strategy provides a framework to support collective action towards halving Australia’s food waste by 2030 (Australian Government, 2017). The National Waste Policy  (Australian Government, 2018) further emphasizes Australia’s commitment on managing food waste (Department of the Environment & Energy, 2018) and working together towards common goals (Department of the Environment & Energy, 2017). Its approach is to “reduce organic waste, including garden and food waste, by avoiding their generation and supporting diversion away from landfill into soils and other uses, supported by appropriate infrastructure”. The City of Sydney recently set out its ambition to achieve ‘zero waste’ by 2030. In 2016, the city managed to divert 69% of waste from landfill and it now wants to further reduce the amount they send to landfill by expanding their services to include residential collection (City of Sydney, 2016).

South Korea

According to the Ministry of Environment, an average South Korean throws out 930 grams of rubbish each day, 40% of which is food waste. This equals to 130 kilograms of per capita food waste a year (Korea Expose, 2018). The objective of the Korean government is therefore to establish a comprehensive policy mix aimed at waste treatment and recovery, and a change in the food culture (Legislative Council Secretariat, 2012)

Since 2001 the Korea Zero Waste Movement Network (KZWMN) has been in operation. The network is made up of government, local community, and enterprises and aims to reduce food waste by 20%. Now the country recycles up to 95% of its food waste (WEF, 2019). In Seoul alone, the volume of waste has decreased by 10%, or more than 300 tons a day, compared to four years ago, through the use of a RFID centralized system of household food waste collection. Seoul has upped its efforts to minimize food waste, through the city-wide implementation of a volume-based food waste disposal system (Seoul Solution, 2016).

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