KUALA LUMPUR: Public awareness on food wastage in the month of Ramadan should be given high attention due to the daily increase in solid waste collection recorded almost every year during the fasting month.
Last year, Alam Flora recorded daily increases in total solid waste collection from 150 tonnes to 200 tonnes per day throughout the month of Ramadan.
The amount include the collection throughout the concession areas under the service of Alam Flora which is in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Pahang.
Alam Flora chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Zain Hassan however said although the number of daily collection recorded had increased, but the overall total collection in the three concession areas recorded a decrease.
Mohd Zain however said overall solid waste collection shows a decreasing trend by the 17th day of Ramadan in 2017 dipping by 1,000 tonnes lower compared to 2016.
“We advise the people to save up some money when they purchase food and do not over-buy them.
“We advise Ramadan bazaar traders not to waste and donate unsold food to welfare homes or those in need.
“The amount of solid waste can be controlled if we replace it with reusable containers, so that we can reduce the usage of plastic bags and polystyrene packs,” he told the New Straits Times Press.
On top of that, Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia urged the citizens to practise meal planning during Ramadan to help curb the growing problem of food wastage in the country.
Its president Datuk Nadzim Johan said people in the country need to realise the real purpose of fasting and plan their meal on the holy month accordingly to avoid food wastage culture.
“We need to ensure the awareness about food wastage should be exposed to the family, every fasting family needs to be smart in controlling the portion of food intake for sahur (pre-dawn meal) and while breaking fast.
“Of course we need to be more responsible of our food spending during Ramadan as food wastage seems to become a yearly culture, which is definitely a terrible situation.
“It’s already clear in Islam that you should not waste and indulge too much in food, but this does not seem to get into the system and is still the practice of some Muslims as food wasting culture is still happening,” he said.
Nadzim also said Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM) and Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) need to work together with PPIM to spread the awareness on food wastage from the school level.
“Ramadan is a month of discipline and is a very proper time to practise good deeds.
Perhaps, with the help and support from JAKIM and JAIS, the awareness could reach the people starting from the school level.
“We at PPIM have started to apply various initiatives to cope with food wasting issue for the past one month which included campaigns and talk sessions.
“As informed and educated citizens, it is important for all of us to also be responsible to take care of our own health and not to over-consume food during Ramadan,” he added.