A better environment is just one click away.
Starting this week, Green initiative will join forces with Ele.me (饿了么) to push the “Cut the Cutlery” challenge together.
Why take on this challenge?
The environmental impacts of takeout have been causing a stir on the domestic internet during the past few months. Takeout disposable cutlery, in particular, provoked a heated discussion. Plastics products are made from fossil fuel -- one of the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. After being manufactured, non-biodegradable plastic is either buried, incinerated or due to improper disposal, end up in the ocean.
Credit: Ocean Conservancy
Plastics are not only harmful to soil and air quality, it also poses a serious threat to wildlife. The resulting consequences are almost irreversible. Keep in mind: any damage to the earth will eventually affect us in one way or another. Reducing and reusing plastic should be our main goal. Recycling is the last solution.
The same problem lies in the production and recycling of disposable chopsticks. They are wasteful products and often made in unsanitary conditions. Used chopsticks have very low recycle value and let’s not forget the plastic wraps that usually come with them.
However, it’s not easy to change some of the habits that have long been developed -- although some might say it only takes about 21 days to form a new habit. Whether it's true or not, we should start with small changes.
What will be the impact?
Let restaurants and vendors know that the consumer behaviors are changing towards a more sustainable direction. Single-use cutlery is obsolete. We can help shape the development of circular economy among F&B industry.
Help China to speed up the pace of phasing out single-use plastic. Last year, France announced the plan to ban disposable plastic cutlery by 2020 and became the first country in the world to implement this policy. This action was soon followed by Delhi, the capital of India, and Hobart in Australia. South Korea will completely stop importing and manufacturing products containing plastic particles by 2018. In Japan, a country known for its strict and systematic garbage disposal system, residents are required to separate plastic and food waste. Taipei's government had also implemented a one-off ban on cutlery last year, a move that has been extended to night markets and shopping districts.
What can you do?
As the leading takeout platform in China, Ele.me introduced a new feature in their app for users to opt out single-use cutlery. All you need to do is simply click on the small leaf button that says “无需餐具” when placing an order.
It won’t take you more than a second, and it will give you 1 gold coin/ 10 points as a reward. You can exchange these points for eco-friendly gifts at Ele.me’s EcoZone (环保专区). More importantly, your contribution is added to cumulative number of times Ele.me users have opted for no cutlery (target: 5 million pledges), this also allows you to get involved in their final tree planting project -- 1000 pledges for 1 tree.
Being eco-friendly doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice convenience. According to Ele.me, more people order takeouts on weekends than on weekdays. So there’s really no point in using disposable cutleries -- they are so hard to use anyway! If there’s no reusable cutlery in your school or office, there’s plenty of light and eco-friendly alternatives online. It’s time to invest in some foldable chopsticks, silicone water bottles, and stainless steel straws.
Be a part of the solution, not the problem. If you have any tips or good ideas to reduce the takeout waste, please send them to us. Selected readers will receive some special gifts from us.
How to Participate
- Pledge to 'Cut the Cutlery' and refuse the disposable cutlery using this link or scan the QR code.
- Share with friends and family to others involved.
- Add CutTheCutlery to your social network and share your photos / insights
- Join the CutTheCutlery WeChat discussion group, become a Campaign Ambassador, and share this action to your circle of friends!
- Instagram: follow us on 'Green_Initatives' and post your reusable cutlery photos with #CutTheCutlery
- Facebook: Follow us and attach the tag #CutTheCutlery
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We hope that each campaign can serve as a starting point to create change, to inspire the community to change contribute to making our planet greener, which many often believe can only be brought about by corporate and government intervention.