Top-down ap­proach best way to ring in a plas­tic-free en­vi­ron­ment

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT -

Fast food giant McDon­ald’s an­nounced on Tues­day that it will grad­u­ally phase out plas­tic straws at its out­lets in the Chi­nese main­land as parts of its en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly en­deavor.

Re­ports said McDon­ald’s will ini­tially stop pro­vid­ing plas­tic straws at 1,000 of its out­lets in Bei­jing, Shang­hai, Guangzhou and Shen­zhen, be­fore ex­tend­ing the ban to all its out­lets in the main­land by the end of the year. Some peo­ple say cus­tomers com­plain when de­nied straws, but a ma­jor­ity of ne­ti­zens are all praise for this en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly cam­paign; a sur­vey by Bei­jing Youth Daily on its of­fi­cial Weibo ac­count found 75 per­cent of 2,230 par­tic­i­pants sup­port­ing the phas­ing out of plas­tic straws. There are those who feel re­duc­ing the use of plas­tic straws is in­con­se­quen­tial, but it can ac­tu­ally re­duce plas­tic us­age by 400 tons a year.

Peo­ple have been back­ing an en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly life­style for ages, but it takes great ef­fort to im­ple­ment it in re­al­ity. For in­stance, dis­pos­able table­ware is a low-cost, highly ef­fi­cient al­ter­na­tive for cater­ers, and many con­sumers, too, wel­come it be­cause of its con­ve­nience. How­ever, many peo­ple for­get the long-term harm it causes to the en­vi­ron­ment.

That’s why a green life­style should be pro­moted and eco-friendly reg­u­la­tions is­sued. Pro­mot­ing en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly pack­ag­ing can be part of an en­ter­prise’s so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity and more en­ter­prises should learn from McDon­ald’s cam­paign to help cul­ti­vate a green life­style in pub­lic.

Shang­hai’s house­hold waste reg­u­la­tion pro­hibits tourist ac­com­mo­da­tion ser­vice providers from vol­un­tar­ily pro­vid­ing guests with dis­pos­able tooth­brushes, combs and shav­ing kits, among oth­ers, since July 1, 2019. Bei­jing has drawn up a list of dis­pos­able table­ware that cater­ing ser­vice providers are pro­hib­ited from vol­un­tar­ily pro­vid­ing to their con­sumers since May 1. These ad­min­is­tra­tive reg­u­la­tions will help the pub­lic adopt a green life­style to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment.

— WANG YIQING, CHINA DAILY

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