With a tantalizing array of satay chicken, wok-fried mud crab and chilled tiger prawns, the dinner buffet at Singapore’s Grand Hyatt hotel typically sets diners back about $70. Those on a tighter budget and with an eye on sustainability can fill a box for a tenth of that price.

Across Asia, tech startups are taking food otherwise destined for landfills and providing discounted meals through mobile phone apps.

About a third of food is lost or wasted every year globally, and the mountains of waste are estimated to cause 8% to 10% of greenhouse gas emissions such as methane, the United Nations says. The Asia-Pacific region is among the worst in the world for total food waste, accounting for more than half of food squandered globally, although the region does make up a large percentage of the world's population.