Unlike food caterers, food delivery service providers are not involved in the preparation of food and do not pose the same public health risk as caterers, said Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor on Tuesday (6 March).
“Unlike food caterers, food delivery service providers are not involved in the preparation of food,” said the 60-year-old, noting that the delivery businesses “generally transport smaller quantities of food”.
Existing regulations such as the Environmental Public Health Act also require the providers and their deliverymen to ensure that the delivered food is fit for consumption.
“Given this, we have no immediate plans to introduce additional regulations for food delivery services,” said Khor, who added that the National Environment Agency (NEA) would continue monitoring the industry closely.
The Member of Parliament MP for Hong Kah North was responding to Non-Constituency MP Daniel Goh’s query on the increasing popularity of food delivery service providers such as Deliveroo and Foodpanda. Goh asked if this necessitated regulating these providers in the same manner as food caterers.
Speaking during her ministry’s Committee of Supply (COS) debate on Budget 2018, Goh also asked about the environmental impact of disposable packaging used by these providers.
“The rapid growth of food delivery services in China have led to a crisis of mounting waste of food boxes, wooden chopsticks and plastic cutlery… is NEA monitoring the waste produced by the growing food delivery services?” he queried.
Khor replied that the agency does not do so and noted that the total amount of packaging waste has remained “fairly constant” over the last few years – comprising about 30 per cent of the total domestic waste in Singapore.
As of 28 June 2017, the Singapore Packaging Agreement (SPA) has also cumulatively reduced almost 39,000 tonnes of packaging waste since its inception in 2007. The SPA is a joint initiative by the government, industries and non-governmental organisations to reduce packaging waste.
“By 2021, we will mandate businesses to report on the type and the amount of packaging they put on the market and their plans for reduction. We will start industry consultations this year,” said Khor.