Encouraging Local Restaurants and Eateries to Embrace Sustainability

While restaurants and eateries in Singapore may serve a wide variety of delicious food, they still lag behind at doing it sustainably. Menus with a high carbon footprint, food wastage, excessive use of plastic disposables, and poor waste segregation are just some of the factors that stand between them and sustainability.

Concerns over the impact of the F&B industry in Singapore and the consumption habits of the general public have led to four local non-profits joining hands to encourage change through their project, ‘Makan SG’.

Through Makan SG, the Centre for a Responsible Future (CRF), People’s Movement to Stop Haze (PM Haze), Plastic-Lite Singapore, and Zero Waste SG will address five key areas: using food ingredients that have a low environmental footprint; sourcing palm-based cooking oil sustainably; reducing and managing waste effectively; reducing and eliminating the use of disposable plastics; and, conserving energy. Addressing these key issues will help restaurants and eateries to become environmentally sustainable.

As a first step, the non-profits released a preliminary guide on how to address these issues on 3 June 2018. This guide is targeted at restaurant and eatery owners and can be downloaded from any of the non-profits’ websites. The non-profits are also partnering with a certifying organisation, Control Union, to develop a Sustainable Restaurant Assessment and Ranking system, which will be released in early 2019.Workshops and talks to educate restaurant and eatery owners about sustainable practices are also in the pipeline. If you are interested to obtain a copy of the preliminary guide, please email Aishwarya at aishwarya@vss.sg  or Wen at zhangwen@pmhaze.org

The non-profits will also work together to raise awareness amongst the public of personal actions that they can take when eating out to help restaurants go green, such as avoiding straws, using Bring Your Own (BYO) containers and cutlery, and ordering smaller portions.

With support from governing bodies and community groups, informed decisions by consumers, and sufficient planning and long-term commitment from restaurants and eateries, the journey towards sustainability can be made both simpler and more rewarding.

About the organisations:

Centre for a Responsible Future

The Centre for a Responsible Future (CRF) is a registered non-profit and charity, with a mission to encourage people and organisations in Singapore to adopt more responsible practices for a better future, through its five core areas of work: plant-based diets; environment and sustainability; compassion towards animals; health and fitness through plant-based diets; and, support for plant-based businesses. Our initiatives include Vegetarian Society Singapore; Animal Allies; EarthFest; PlantForward; and, Alliance for a Responsible Future (ARF). CRF believes in collaborating closely with volunteers, community groups, educational institutions, businesses and government bodies to create a better future for everyone and a greener planet.

PM Haze

People’s Movement to Stop Haze, known as PM Haze, is a non-profit focusing on outreach, research and advocacy on the transboundary haze crisis. Our mission is to drive a global movement to stop the haze by empowering the community with the knowledge, means and values. Steering consumption patterns towards sustainable palm oil and paper as well as assisting Indonesian and Malaysian farmers to create a sustainable livelihood are two main ways we empower our community.

Plastic-Lite Singapore

Plastic-Lite Singapore is a community of volunteers that raises awareness about the over-use of disposable plastics in Singapore. We reach out to schools, eateries, corporates, and the general public via roadshows and targeted initiatives to spread the message that each piece of disposable plastic refused is one more step towards saving the environment. Our initiatives include No-Straw Tuesdays, where we encourage schools to not give out straws in school canteens every Tuesday; Plastic-Lite Eateries, where we encourage cafes and restaurants to stop using plastic straws, plastic food/drink takeaway containers and cutlery; and Bounce Bags, where we set up designated points in convenient locations, such as wet markets and shopping streets, for the community to deposit and pick up reusable bags. This project is still in its early stages.

Zero Waste SG

Zero Waste SG is a non-profit and non-governmental organisation dedicated to help Singapore eliminate the concept of waste, and accelerate the shift towards zero waste and the circular economy. Zero Waste SG aims to promote education and engagement on the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) among individuals and households; increase waste minimisation and recycling among businesses and organisations; and reduce specific waste such as food waste and plastic disposables.

Control Union

Control Union has a global network of certifications and inspections operations and dedicated laboratories in more than 70 countries. Control Union specializes in the area of Independent worldwide cargo surveying and superintendence and certification.

Control Union Certifications division offers a global one-stop-shop for a wide range of certification programs such as Organic, FSC, MSC, RSPO, Utz, ISCC, BRC, ISO22000, FSSC22000, GlobalGAP, Bonsucro, GSTC, GMP+ and many more see: http://certifications.controlunion.com/ for full list.

Control Union certificates are accepted by authorities in almost all countries worldwide.