TRIA launches world’s first organic recycling pilot for single-use food packaging with KFC Singapore

TRIA, a Singapore-based enterprise, has launched a six-month organic recycling pilot with fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) Singapore.

This pilot launch event was graced by Minister of State for the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ms Low Yen Ling. Ms Low also witnessed an commemorative moment when TRIA, KFC Singapore and a collation of industry partners along the value chain came together in commitment to close the loop from cradle to table.

TRIA empowers KFC to recycle their single-use dine-in packaging and food waste into farm-ready fertilisers for crop growth, enabling them to close their waste loop. This collaboration is the first-ever organic recycling pilot program for single-use packaging and food wastes worldwide.

By recycling food waste that would otherwise have to be incinerated, the collaboration will drive greater sustainability in the food services sector in Singapore, and support the vision articulated under the Singapore Green Plan 2030 for a more sustainable Singapore.

“I am very pleased to see this pilot launched, and I am grateful for KFC’s trust and commitment to this journey with TRIA. This closed-loop system is the first of its kind. The pilot is a collation of strategic stakeholders along the value chain, who demonstrates commitment and custodianship to close the loop. Such ownership is imperative in driving circular food systems because we know that circularity cannot be done in isolation. I hope our pilot further inspires others to think beyond the usual perimeters to overcome the challenges of sustainability. And we welcome other stakeholders to join us in shaping the future of circular food systems,” said Ng Pei Kang, CEO of TRIA

By utilising technologies in material, recycling and valorisation, TRIA has developed an end to-end system which starts from the supply of bio-based packaging, to the collect back of its waste for organic recycling, turning waste into farm-ready fertilisers for crop growth.

KFC Singapore’s environmental sustainability efforts started in 2016 when all KFC restaurants in Singapore switched from paper boxes to reusable baskets for dine-in orders. KFC Singapore was first to eliminate the use of plastic straws from their outlets.

“KFC Singapore is extremely pleased to be spearheading this 6-month pilot program with TRIA at KFC Northpoint City. This demonstrates our commitment to sustainability and our customers. We hope this will lead to a long-term partnership with TRIA,” commented Lynette Lee, general manager of KFC Singapore

By partnering with TRIA, KFC Singapore hopes to meet the goals of being an environmentally friendly organisation by managing their restaurant food and packaging waste, and support an enterprising Singapore business like TRIA.

Notably, no massive and costly waste collection and recycling infrastructure are required. It will also not disrupt KFC’s operations. When scaled across all of KFC’s restaurants in Singapore, it would make  positive impact on the overall climate costs of food packaging, waste management and recycling. This will effect a significant impact to sustainability efforts.

TRIA’s new take-back model for the fast-food industry sets a precedent and provides the operational blueprint for effective and efficient execution of the fast-food industry’s extended producer responsibility (EPR). This world’s first pilot seeks to demonstrate these capabilities with waste collected from selected KFC outlet in Singapore. The objective is to collect operational data and refine processes for scaling up next year to cover all KFC outlets in Singapore and eventually across Asia and globally.

The collaboration is facilitated by Enterprise Singapore as part of the Enterprise Sustainability Programme (ESP). Launched in 2021, the ESP provides support for Singapore companies to build capabilities and capture new opportunities in the green economy. This includes efforts with industry partners to develop sustainability initiatives and programmes, and foster a vibrant and conducive sustainability ecosystem in Singapore.

“TRIA has been strengthening its innovation capabilities over the years, and this collaboration with KFC will validate a food waste circular model, which will be in line with the global push for sustainability efforts. Enterprise Singapore will also continue to support companies with promising solutions like TRIA to expand into international markets,” added Soh Leng Wan, assistant CEO of manufacturing and engineering at Enterprise Singapore