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Liam O’Callaghan


FairPrice tackles waste problem

Singapore-based retailer is trying find the right balance as it attempts to reduce packaging and food waste

FairPrice tackles waste problem

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NTUC FairPrice has worked to reduce its packaging waste while maintaining food safety and quality in preparation for new packaging requirements.

According to a report from Eco-Business, FairPrice Group, which includes NTUC FairPrice, has established a dedicated team to liaise with suppliers as it gets ready for the mandatory packaging reporting that will begin in Singapore next year.

The reporting required by Singapore’s National Environment Agency, is the start of a process towards establishing extended producer responsibility framework for packaging waste in Singapore by 2025. This would force companies to become more accountable for the packaging they produce.  

Seah Kian Peng, chief executive of FairPrice Group, said addressing the problem of packaging waste has multiple benefits.

“Tackling packaging waste earlier in the production process is a beneficial approach since it also helps the company to potentially save costs,” said Seah.

“We are constantly on the lookout to explore ways to reduce packaging waste while ensuring product safety and quality.”

The scope to reduce packaging is wider in some areas of FairPrice’s stores than others and when it comes to fresh produce, a balance must be struck.

Seah said produce is often packaged to minimise handling and prevent bruising and FreshPrice is committed to providing a high quality product. However, this packaging does bring benefits of reducing food waste.

“A variety of packaging including cling wrap, foam nets, trays, and bags is used to ensure consistency, minimise damage and preserve the quality of the product, particularly for fresh produce such as leafy vegetables and corn,” Seah said.

“This means that we are able to prevent food wastage by lengthening the shelf life of this fresh produce.”

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