Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Environment and Forestry has asked people to reduce food waste considering the 20 percent increase in the generation of food waste every Ramadan.

"We encourage people to set an example and inspire by starting from the smallest thing, starting from ourselves, starting from now. Let us try to change (reduce food waste) in this Ramadan month," the ministry's director of waste reduction Sinta Saptarina Soemiarno said at a Climate Corner discussion here on Wednesday.

Several regions have reported an increase in food waste generation, such as Padang city, West Sumatra, which has recorded a 5 percent increase compared to the previous month, and Surabaya city, East Java, which, since the start of Ramadan, has recorded a 200 ton increase in garbage transported to landfills, she noted.

"The increasing population has had an impact on increasing waste and unfortunately, this has not been balanced by adequate waste management services so landfills have become over-capacity," she said.

According to her, the 20 percent increase in food waste generation every Ramadan is spurred by greedy consumption on part of the community, which can cause an increase in food that is wasted.

She then asked people to be active in sorting and processing waste independently.

"Actually, if waste is not managed, apart from having a negative impact on the health of living things, it can also (contribute to) pollution and environmental damage as well as climate change," she pointed out.

People can send inorganic waste to the nearest waste bank in exchange for money, insurance, and others, while organic waste can be sent to integrated waste processing sites (TPST) to be processed into fertilizer and biogas.

According to her, if every household can process its own food waste, 10.92 million tons of organic waste will not end up in landfills.

Composting food waste can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 6.8 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, she said.

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Translator: Sugiharto Purnama, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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