"Reducing food waste would cut greenhouse gas emissions."
"We need to do everything we can."
Executive Director of UN Environment Programme
Did you know that according to ‘Food waste index report 2021’ by UNEP, an estimated 10 billion tonnes of food is being wasted annually? This indicates that 17% of the world’s food is being wasted. The weight roughly equals that of 23 million fully-loaded 40-tonne trucks, enough bumper-to-bumper to circle the Earth 7 times.
What’s more, food waste affects the environment a great deal. It emits a large amount of greenhouse gas which takes up 8% to 10% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. It is playing a critical role in the recent climate crisis. Inger Andersen, the executive director of the UN environment programme, even urges governments and individuals to take part in the issue.
Thailand is experiencing the problem too. Bangkok, the capital and tourist attraction of Thailand, is suffering from a large amount of food waste which accounts for 46% of daily waste in the city. The government realized the gravity of it and reacted in 2017 with ‘20-year Pollution Management Strategy and Plan’ to mitigate and control the pollution. Trin, the founder and director of ‘Food Loss Food Waste(FLFW)’, also pondered on how to circulate food waste to resources and minimize the pollution.
His solution is utilizing ‘Black Soldier Fly(BSF)’ to decompose food waste. Surprisingly, BSF is considered a purifying insect. Unlike other kinds of flies, BSF only feeds during its larval stage and does not become a carrier of infectious diseases even after fully grown. In this project, BSF larvae are nutritiously fed with food waste. Thanks to their vigorous appetite, up to 80% of food waste is decomposed while feeding. Moreover, they are used for livestock feed and their feces contains abundant nutrients which makes it a perfect fertilizer.
Ko si chang, a resort island 2-hour away from Bangkok, is one of the reborn areas since the BSF project. On the island, residents still throw away food waste in landfills and burn the rest. In the summer, the landfill stinks and lures house flies which upset tourists. Even the local government cannot afford to cope with the issue.
Now, Black Soldier Fly(BSF) is transforming the island. ‘Food Loss Food Waste(FLFW)’ installs BSF farms and trains local farmers on how to rear. Food waste on the island is no longer thrown away in landfills. The residents bring their food waste and use it for larvae feeds. As a result, the stink has been reduced and the number of house flies has been significantly diminished. The larvae and their feces are also sold to nearby farmers for fertilizers and to poultry farmers for their nutritious meals. Ko si chang is getting green again.
The transformation on the island is what drives FLFW even further. They travel around the country teaching students and local farmers what they can do with BSF for the Earth. With the help of impact donations from The Bridge, they will be able to promote the BSF project to more communities and encourage them to join. Their endless journey will not stop until there is zero food waste in landfills.
Food Loss Food Waste(FLFW) Director
“The more we recycle food waste, the less waste goes to landfill. In the end, zero organic waste in landfills will happen. We are creating a circular economy where all our resources are used over and over.”
Please support Trin and FLFW as they play their roles to fight the climate crisis!