Conference Report: Waste in Asia (ASIEN)

In the latest issue of the journal of the German Association for Asian studies (DGA, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Asienkunde), ASIEN, No. 141, Stephanie Assman wrote a conference report on the Waste in Asia conference, held in Leiden in June: Waste in Asia , Leiden, the Netherlands, June 9–11, 2016 Organized by food historian Katarzyna Cwiertka in cooperation with the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NOW), the Garbage Matters Project at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands, hosted the conference Waste in Asia (WiA) from June 9–11, 2016. In a pioneering effort, the conference brought together twenty-nine scholars from anthropology, sociology, economics, literature, art, history and landscape architecture. Economist Masanobu Ishikawa (Kobe University) delivered the keynote speech and stressed the significance of public waste prevention awareness campaigns. Four major issues were explored in nine panels. Firstly, food waste emerged as a pertinent issue. Kohei Watanabe (Teikyo University) noted that “half of kitchen waste is edible”. Several presenters identified waste-creating behaviors such as an obsession with freshness and explored strategies to prevent food waste. Whereas food producers in Japan are encouraged to reduce packaging waste through Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policies, several countries in Asia seek to “shape a responsible consumer” through state intervention programs and educational initiatives. A public education media campaign might be a way to tackle food waste in Beijing, as Shuxi Yin (Hefei University) asserted. Won-Chung Kim (Sungkyunkwan University) investigated the implementation of a radio frequency identification disposal system in Korea, whereas Stephanie Assmann (Hokkaido University) examined a governmental No-Foodloss campaign in Japan. Tammara Soma (University of Toronto) questioned accepted notions of gender equality in her paper...

Taiwan ‘world’s geniuses’ for garbage disposal

In an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal of May 17, Kathy Chen tells us how Taiwan, once dubbed Garbage Island, has emerged as an international poster child for recycling. The article gives a general overview of the waste policies and the recycling system in Taiwan. The article also mentions the Buddhist organization Tzu Chi and its engagement in recycling. Read this article through the WSJ’s Facebook page: Taiwan: The World’s Geniuses of Garbage...

Bizar fashion show recycles waste materials

A bizarre fashion show presented garments made out of metal buckets, bottles, paper and general garbage waste at a farm in southwest China’s Chongqing municipality Thursday. More than 1,000 people took part in the show and displayed the creative garments made of waste materials. Read more:...

New publication by Federica Marra – Fighting Food Loss and Food Waste in Japan

We are pleased to announce that Federica Marra, our Food Waste Liaison, is one of the contributors to the recently launched online journal Innovative Research in Japanese Studies (IRJS). IRJS aims to be a platform for graduate students, enrolled in PhD and Master programmes. Marra’s article, ‘Fighting Food Loss and Food Waste in Japan’ is based on her MA thesis, which she wrote at Leiden University under the guidance of Prof. Cwiertka. Please click the link to find the full article in PDF. Abstract of ‘Fighting Food Loss and Food Waste in Japan’ Japan discards approximately eighteen million tons of food annually, an amount that accounts for 40% of national food production. In recent years, a number of measures have been adopted at the institutional level to tackle this issue, showing increasing commitment of the government and other organizations. The greatest achievements have been observed in the treatment of food waste as a renewable resource, mainly through its conversion into animal feed. A number of new initiatives have also been launched to promote a systematic approach in the distribution and consumption sectors in order to fight consumer behavior and commercial practices that are still generating an elevated amount of food loss and waste. Along with the aim of environmental sustainability, these initiatives are also attempting to tackle food waste recycling and food loss...