News

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...

Film and Documentary Screening

Film and Documentary Screening for the Waste in Asia Conference 2016 Featured films: No Doggy Bag Please (Hingman Leung, 2015); Tyres (by Kyaw Myo Lwin, 2013); Eating Out and Food Waste in Bangalore | Metro Manila (Marlyne Sahakian, 2016); Refuse and Daily Life (Seiji Koyama, 1960). where: Lipsius building, room 003 when: Thursday, 9 June, 2016 time: 19:00-21:00 o’clock All are welcome! Programme No Doggy Bag Please, 2015, by Hingman Leung (prod./dir.), 16 mins. With a short introduction by the maker. Tyres, 2013, by Kyaw Myo Lwin (dir.) and Yangon Film School (prod.), 33 mins. With a short introduction by Rebecca Tompkins. Eating Out and Food Waste in Bangalore, 2016, by Marlyne Sahakian (dir.), 6 mins. Eating Out and Food Waste in Metro Manila, 2015, by Marlyne Sahakian (dir.), 5 mins. Waste Management and Recycling in Bangalore, 2016, by Marlyne Sahakian (dir.), 7 mins. With a short introduction by Tammara Soma. Refuse and Daily Life, 1960, by Seiji Koyama (dir.), 19 mins. With a short introduction by Kohei...

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:...

Research presentation on everyday food waste

David Evans of Manchester University presents his research on household waste, particularly food waste, in a presentation titled “Crossing the threshold: why do households waste food and what can we do about it?” at an event hosted by the Sustainable Consumption Institute, London, March 16, 2012....

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...

TRASHED. If you think it is someone else’s problem… think again

The multi-award winning documentary Trashed (2012), starring Jeremy Irons, looks at the risks to the food chain and the environment through pollution of our air, land and sea by waste. The film reveals surprising truths about very immediate and potent dangers to our health. it is a global conversation from Iceland to Indonesia between the film star Jeremy Irons and scientists, politicians and ordinary individuals whose health and livelihoods have been fundamentally affected by waste pollution. Visually and emotionally the film is both horrific and beautiful: an interplay of human interest and political wake-up call. But it ends on a message of hope: showing how the risks to our survival can easily be averted through sustainable approaches that provide far more employment than the current ‘waste...