One-month trash sorting efforts alter Shanghai lifestyle

By Wu Jin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, August 2, 2019
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File photo shows a resident throws waste at a garbage sorting site at a community in east China's Shanghai. [Photo/Xinhua]

The month-old trash sorting campaign in Shanghai is already ramping up local people's awareness of how their lifestyle choices impinge on environmental protection.

According to China National Radio, orders of food deliveries without disposable cutlery in the city surged by 471 percent between June and July, a trend showing local people's growing concerns over their consumption style.

"I have my own chopsticks, so I don't need the disposable ones while ordering delivery food. I do so in hope that we can get a better environment and a less complicated job in sorting throw-away materials," said a white-collar worker surnamed Wang.

The mounting rejection of disposable cutlery is just part of the picture. According to, a major food delivery platform across China, customers in Shanghai who don't want to be troubled with dividing the wastes between the wet and the dry is leading to their orders becoming more meticulous.

For instance, there are people ordering "mutton skewers" without the metal skewers and Pearl Milk Tea with exact number of pearls, say, 10, in a cup. Otherwise, according to one customer, an excessive number of pearls will mean wastage and cost her extra efforts to dispose of in the correct garbage container.

Over the past few years, China has been producing about 400 million tons of rubbish each year and the figure is estimated to have been growing eight percent each year. Without sorting, the rubbish, dumped or burned recklessly, leads to land contamination and cancerogenic dioxin-related air pollution.

On July 1, this year, Shanghai introduced its "Life Garbage Sorting Regulation", asking local residents to divide their daily waste into four categories, namely, wet, dry, recyclable and hazardous.

As the country's first pilot city to establish the trash-sorting mechanism, Shanghai has made a hard-won achievement over the past month and its experience will soon be shared with 46 other major cities and municipalities, including, Beijing, Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei province, and Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, which are required to complete full-fledged sorting systems by the end of 2020.

Chen Chunhua, a cleaner in rural Shanghai's Qingpu district, said: "we used to fill more than 30 containers with the rubbish thrown away each day in our community. Now, we only need about 20."

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