On Friday May 31st, Groupe Beaumanoir completed an 8-week learning module on plastic waste facilitated by Green Initiatives and successfully launched a plastic reduction campaign at their Shanghai office.
The learning module consists of 4 sessions covering a film screening, workshop, cleanup activity, and finally, a campaign launch.
In the first session, to introduce and understand the target problem of plastic waste, a powerful documentary “A Plastic Ocean” was screened where the participants learned the heartbreaking truth of the serious plastic pollution in the ocean and how they are slowing poisoning our own bodies. The film showed incidents of fish and birds dying because of eating pieces of plastic, mistaking them for food. The visuals had a huge emotional impact on the participants and many of them immediately pledged to reduce their plastic waste.
It’s very sad and tragic that thousands of sea animals were killed by the plastics products we used.
Two weeks later, carrying the thoughts from the previous session, an inspiring workshop “Plastics Are Forever” was led by the facilitators. The participants watched a few short videos about ocean plastics, learnt the importance of the oceans while playing games to hold their breath for longer than 60 seconds and also learnt about inspiring projects around the world attempting to clean up the oceans. The session ended with a discussion on how they could reduce usage of single use plastics in their daily lives by listing the most frequently used disposable plastic products as well as their reusable alternatives such as glass containers, reusable bottles, carry-on cutleries etc.
During their third session, the participants went on a half-day fieldtrip to BinJiang Forest Park for a plastic clean up run. It was shocking to see the massive piles of trash washed ashore along the coastline of Yangtze River. While collecting the wastes, the participants were able to identify the various categories where each item belonged to. It also gave them a firsthand view of how much wastes is generated everyday, especially plastic; and how mismanagement of this waste is affecting our environment and oceans.
The main goal of the cleanup activity was to bring people closer to their waste and get a deeper understanding of the problem by coming in contact with the trash.
In the last session, an 8-week plastic reduction campaign aiming to reduce single use plastic was launched at Groupe Beaumanoir’s Shanghai office. The participants reflected upon their learnings from the past few weeks and shared the parts that inspired them the most. A detailed action plan was drawn up by the participants with instructions to implement reduction of single use plastics in the office – purchasing office mugs, bringing reusable containers and chopsticks for lunch, planning a “No-Plastic Day” once a month, and etc.
To wrap up the campaign, Green Initiatives also launched a waste recycling program to be implemented across the office, where staff would segregate their recyclable waste including textiles, electronics, plastics, paper, glass, and metals and send them to Green Initiatives waste recycling partners for further processing. This program is in line with Shanghai’s new waste segregation policy introduced in 2019.
About Plastics are Forever
The Plastics are Forever learning module’s ultimate goal is to spread the message of plastic reduction and strengthen the feeling that change is possible by increasing individual’s responsibility over one’s consumptions. The process also creates synergy which co-workers can work collectively to design a sustainable system by learning new ways of implementing sustainable practices.
Big thanks to all the participants throughout the sessions, and best wishes on the sustainability journey ahead!
If you would like your organization to hold similar sessions or conduct plastic reduction events, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
More details may also be found at Plastics are Forever