When we throw a single-use food container into the bin, not only does it require resources to transport it to our landfill to end up getting burnt, it is also a waste of resources (water, fossil fuels, electricity, etc) that went into making it.
It’s no secret that the number of single-use packaging has risen dramatically, especially today with more people using food delivery services, and having to take away food from hawker centres due to reduced in-house seating. With the waste we’re generating, Semakau Landfill is expected to run out of space in 15 years time, and there is a huge urgency for us to start using reusables and drastically reduce our waste.
According to a survey from Today Online, an extra 1,334 tonnes of plastic waste (92 double-decker buses), was generated from takeaway and delivery meals during the two-month circuit breaker period of stay-home curbs.
I joined BYO Singapore, a movement by Zero Waste SG, for the launch of their campaign, Bring Your Own Container (BYOC). The campaign works together with hawker centres and the community to work towards reducing the excessive use of our disposables. Joined by Senior Minister of State Dr Amy Khor, we walked the grounds through Tiong Bahru Hawker Centre to encourage people to reduce disposable usage as well as chat about some of their concerns.
I like to take away food in my own containers not only because it reduces plastic waste, but if I don’t get to finish my food, at least it means I can pack it up and have the rest at a later time. BYOC actually doesn’t just apply to takeaways… many hawkers use disposables even for dine-in customers, simply because they don’t have the manpower to wash their own dishes. It breaks my heart to see all the styrofoam plates going around, but I get why they do it. This is where BYOC will also help reduce waste in these instance.
The cutlery, napkin, and my water bottle are daily staples as they don’t take up much space in my bag, and I bring a container if I know I’ll be getting a takeaway. If you like something slimmer, collapsible containers are really good too!
So bring your own container because it helps you to support the local hawkers, save resources, and save money too!
You can check out the IG Live here!