Written Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on Packaging and Food Waste for SHN stays
Ms Nadia Ahmad Samdin: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment in light of the need for incoming travellers to serve their Stay-Home Notice (SHN) in hotels, whether there are steps taken to ensure that the hospitality industry minimises plastic and food waste generated from SHN stays and what more can be done to reduce such waste.
Hotels that serve as Stay-Home Notice (SHN) Dedicated Facilities are required to adhere to guidelines and minimise contact between hotel staff and the persons serving SHN to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. These guidelines include requiring meals to be served in disposable containers and to avoid using reusable containers and cutlery, as these potentially contaminated items would need to be collected and cleaned by the hotel staff.
Notwithstanding these temporary measures, my Ministry has been working with stakeholders such as hotels to step up the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle). To focus attention on waste reduction opportunities, hotels with more than 200 rooms are required to report the amount of waste generated at their premises, along with waste reduction plans and targets, to the National Environment Agency (NEA) annually. Large commercial and industrial premises including hotels will also be required to segregate their food waste for treatment from 2024.
Hotels are also encouraged to adopt best practices to minimise waste. NEA has partnered the Singapore Hotel Association to publish a 3R Guidebook for Hotels. The guidebook highlights best practices in 3R programmes, such as doing away with unnecessary packaging and offering guests the option to reduce food portions. We urge all hotels to enhance their practices to minimise waste.