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What a waste? An experience in a secondary school in Malaysia of a food waste management system (FWMS)

What a waste? An experience in a secondary school in Malaysia of a food waste management system (FWMS)

Bathmanathan, Vathana, Rajadurai, Jegatheesan and Alahakone, Ratnesvary (2023) What a waste? An experience in a secondary school in Malaysia of a food waste management system (FWMS). Heliyon, 9 (10):e20327. pp. 1-12. ISSN 2405-8440 (Online) (doi:

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Food waste (FW) is not just a problem and challenge in Malaysia but world wide. According to a United Nation Environment Program report, approximately 931 million tonnes of food waste was produced globally in 2019. This included 61% from households, 26% from food services and the remaining 13%, from retail. The sheer magnitude of this wastage is very troubling; especially in the fact that there is no firm hope that the scale of the wastage will decrease in the near future. Most studies into food wastage have investigated the broader field of food industries such as food manufacturers, restaurants, food courts and others. This study, however, aimed to investigate FW among end-users who are students in a school, with data being collected from the school canteen. It investigated the amount of food waste before and after awareness of food waste in Malaysia was raised, and how the waste can be converted into cash. The study had four phases: 1) an awareness program for school students, 2) installation of the FW machine, 3) collection of food waste, and finally 4) data analysis. The food waste was collected, transformed into bio-fertilisers and sold to the parents. A total of 339.5 kg of food waste was collected in 38 days and this waste was transformed into 131.5 kg of bio-fertilisers for sale to parents in the same school. This simple FW conversion to bio-fertilisers undertaken in the school as a pilot project shed some light on the potential of the project to be carried out on a larger scale and with commercial interests for all schools in Malaysia. The school generated RM 1315 from the sale of the bio-fertilisers. The potential profits achievable from this conversion of FW to bio-fertilisers will be significant if the pilot study is expanded throughout Malaysia.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: food waste; SDG 12; school; policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2024 16:21

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