Singapore's first food waste management campaign in partnership with F&B operations



SINGAPORE, 14 February 2013 – Singapore’s first food wastage management campaign, makan mantra, targeted at F&B operations and consumers launches earlier this month on 1 February 2013. Led by four final-year undergraduates from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information in Nanyang Technological University, the campaign seeks to raise awareness and education around the topic of food wastage in Singapore. It also aims to empower the public to take action on food wastage reduction and management.

Based on statistics from NEA, about 675 million kilos was wasted in 2011 and this amount is enough to fill up over 12,000 double-decker buses. Targeting specifically young working adults who dine out regularly, the social campaign, makan mantra, aims to educate consumers by introducing and implementing eight tips, known as ‘mantras’ in F&B operations. This initiative encourages both food retailers and customers to take simple actions to prevent food wastage.

A preliminary poll conducted identified that Singaporeans aged 20 – 35 have a higher tendency to waste food. This demographic has considerable spending power and spends a large portion of their disposable income on food.

Statistics from the second poll of 114 Singaporeans aged between 20 – 35 revealed – although 90% agree that it is important to reduce food waste, only 27% would leave a clean plate behind all the time. According to this poll, the most frequent places where participants do not finish their food were at restaurants and buffets. It was also indicated that portion size was the top reason for food wastage. Based on these insights and further research, the eight ‘mantras’ were developed to tackle consumers’ food wasting habits.

“The campaign is a very meaningful effort by the NTU students to generate awareness on food wastage in Singapore. Through this initiative, the students are able to spread the message that we can all do our part in supporting food wastage management by adopting the ‘mantras’ which they have developed.  We would like to congratulate Makan Mantra for their commendable efforts,” said Mr. Mark Rada, Project Director, Asia Square.

With strong support from Asia Square and Singapore Environment Council (SEC), the team hopes to encourage both the consumers and the F&B operators to change wasteful practices. For a start, 11 F&B operations have shown their support for the campaign and will be adopting the ‘mantras’ in the restaurants.

“The SEC supports this creative ground-up public education initiative wholeheartedly. Addressing consumer food waste requires a shift in attitudes and behaviours regarding food and its wastage. Raising awareness should therefore be an integral part of efforts aimed at reducing and preventing consumer food waste, and this is where makan mantra’s initiative will prove significant,” added Mr Jose Raymond, Executive Director of the Singapore Environment Council.

Willy Beh, spokesperson of makan mantra from NTU’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information, shared, “For a tiny island that imports most of our food, food wastage shouldn’t even be an existing problem. Why are we wasting food if we always say we love it? It’s become a common sight to see plates of unfinished food left behind today. We want to remind consumers about this problem right when they are eating, and provide them with solutions to it.”

For example, one of the eight mantras “Don’t Shy Shy” is inspired by the embarrassment that consumers commonly experience when they ask to take away their leftovers with them. During this period, such a way of reducing food waste will be encouraged, and provided for, by the F&B operations instead.

From 4th – 8th of February, the team along with 12 ambassadors roved the Central Business District (CBD) during lunch hour to spread the word about the cause. Over five days, 1500 pledges were collected in support to reduce food waste.
The campaign will culminate with Makan Day –  in a forum and feast event which will be held at the Cube at Asia Square in March. Makan Day will present a platform for constructive discussions where industry leaders, officials, experts and the public can come together to discuss future solutions of food wastage.

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About makan mantra

makan mantra is an initiative conceived by four NTU Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information students, Isabelle Lim, Rachel Lim, Glenda Tang and Willy Beh. The campaign aims to raise the awareness of food wastage amongst the young working adults in Singapore and to work with F&B operations to put in place 8 mantras, which are simple tips and methods, consumers can adopt to reduce food wastage.

For more information, please visit

About Asia Square

Located at the heart of Singapore’s new financial precinct of Marina Bay is Asia Square, MGPA’s latest mixed-use development. One of Asia’s greenest commercial developments, it is the only building in Singapore that has achieved both US-LEED certification standards and the Building Construction Authority Green Mark Platinum award.

Through its sustainable design initiatives, Asia Square offers businesses a viable model for long-term sustainability to meet the demands of green office space for now and into the future.

About MGPA

MGPA is an independently managed private equity real estate investment advisory company focused on real estate investment in Europe and Asia-Pacific. Through its network of offices in Europe and Asia-Pacific, MGPA currently manages approximately US$11 billion in assets throughout these two regions. Its managed investments include development and redevelopment projects, joint-ventures and real estate operating companies in the office, retail, industrial, residential and hotel sectors.

About Singapore Environment Council (SEC)

Established in 1995, the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) is an independently managed, non-government organisation that nurtures, facilitates and co-ordinates environmental causes in Singapore. SEC’s work is founded on three pillars of action  – Firstly, partnership with the people, private and public sectors of Singaporean society, to nurture a culture aligned with sustainable development concepts. Secondly, SEC rewards environmental excellence through awards schemes and product endorsement programmes, such as the Singapore Green Labelling Scheme. Thirdly, the SEC collaborates with partners to develop and implement training and learning programmes to build competencies in environmental sustainability within companies, thus keeping our business leaders ahead of the curve. Visit our website at

For more information, please contact:

Willy Beh

HP: +65 9841 9794


Isabelle Lim

HP: +65 9236 4196



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