Plastic Free F&B is a campaign run by Green Initiatives, to encourage restaurants and various F&B outlets to use less single-use plastics.
We have reached out to some of Shanghai’s bigger F&B chains about reducing their usage of single-use plastics, but we’ve not received a response, therefore we’re bringing up this campaign.
What is this about?
A busy city like Shanghai has endless food destinations for consumers to stop for meals, drinks and snacks. Unfortunately, for the sake of convenience and often out of lack of knowledge about environmental issues, most food & beverage (F&B) establishments give away single-use plastics to their customers as the default – even if customers didn’t ask for it. We believe this is unnecessary and taxing to the environment – especially at a time when many global brands have already been committing to removing single-use plastics from their businesses.
Non-recyclable, single-use plastic takes on many forms such as cutlery, plates, straws, styrofoam containers, and take away paper cups that are actually lined with plastic.
The problem of ‘Single-Use’ plastics
Single-use plastic items are thrown away in massive quantities every day.
While we may forget about these products once they are tossed in the trash, these plastics do not just disappear. They end up in the Earth’s soil, fresh water, oceans, and other natural environments. The toxic waste harms wildlife, destroys ecosystems, and leaches harmful chemicals into our food and water. (source)
With this campaign we urge people to speak up about the plastic pollution problem to F&B business owners on public platforms or personal meetings, to ask to reduce or eliminate disposable plastics from their outlets/restaurants.
What can you do?
To take part in the “Plastic Free F&B” campaign simply leave reviews for restaurants and coffee shops visited that still use disposable plastic when serving dine-in costumers, urging them to replace those items with sustainable alternatives.
While we might know that a lot of small, local, family owned restaurants use disposable plastics, for this campaign we are speaking to establishments that can afford to make this change: chain restaurants, mid-range, and high range places.
Why is this important?
Single-use cutlery is obsolete. With small changes in our consumer habits we can help shape the development of circular economy among F&B industry. Let restaurant owners know that consumer behaviors are changing towards a more sustainable direction.
The governments of more than 60 countries have implemented various bans on single-use plastics to combat the growing plastic pollution epidemic. China is leading in the renewable energy revolution, yet has lax regulations for disposable plastics, which are made from polluting fossil fuels. Help Shanghai F&B businesses phase out single-use plastics by setting an example and spreading awareness to smaller establishments.
It is not required for laws to get passed for individuals to make an impact. With this campaign, lets attempt to make a positive change in the Shanghai F&B community with the power of the public voice.
How to participate
As F&B owners/managers:
- Download a pledge document attached in the sidebar
- Check the items that you pledge to eliminate, and the time scope needed for this change
- Send it to us.
We will display your pledges on this webpage, as well as at the end of the month we’ll release a WeChat article listing honorable mentions to all the F&B establishments that have signed the pledge to eliminate disposable plastics from their service.
- Snap a picture of the plastic item you see in a F&B outlet
- Use Bon App for both EN/CN reviews or 大众点评 Dianping for CN reviews
- Post a review with a hashtag #plasticfreefnb, asking them to replace plastics with reusables
- Screenshot your review and send it to us by wechat (‘greenimpact’) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Remember, your review should be constructive, not negative.
Our goal is to create positive change by collaborating together with businesses to reduce waste. We understand that even if their service includes disposable plastics, their food might still be delicious!
For those dedicated English speakers that also want to leave a review on Dianping we’re providing a simple review in Chinese with variables for items ordered.
1. I really like the food in this restaurant, but they served it with (plastic cutlery/a plastic plate/disposable cup/plastic straw), wish they had a non-disposable option for this! #plasticfreefnb
我很喜欢这家餐厅的菜，但他们用（塑料餐具 plastic cutlery /塑料盘子 plastic plate/一次性杯 disposable cup/塑料吸管 plastic straw），真希望他们提供非一次性餐具的选择！#plasticfreefnb
2. Ordered a (coffee/juice/tea) to stay, but they served it (in a disposable cup/with a plastic straw)! Wish they would have asked me before if I wanted the order to come in plastic or not. #plasticfreefnb我点了一杯堂吃的（咖啡 coffee /果汁 juice /茶 tea），但他们还是给了我（一次性杯 disposable cup/塑料吸管 plastic straw）！ 我希望他们能够在我点单前问我是否需要塑料杯。#plasticfreefnb
Sustainable service acknowledgments
During this campaign we not only want to single out the establishments that still use disposable plastics while serving their costumers, but also highlight the ones that do not.
For Sustainable service acknowledgments column, we’re collecting the names of restaurants and coffee shops that serve:
- hot and cold beverages
- juices and smoothies
- appetizers, entrées and desserts
in and with non-disposable; washable; reusable: cups, straws, plates and cutlery. No disposable items for their dine-in costumers.
If you’d like to send in a name of an establishment that deserves a sustainable service acknowledgment, please take a picture and sent it to wechat (greenimpact) or email (email@example.com).
What is our goal?
- Get 500 reviews posted
- Reach out to 50 F&B outlets
- Get 10 pledges from F&B business owners