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July 22, 2019

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‘Greening’ for a sustainable city

Downtown Jing’an Park brimmed with “green” over the weekend.

Under leafy trees, more than a dozen white tents were put up on Saturday, offering a wide range of activities to promote a sustainable lifestyle as part of Shanghai Daily’s 20th anniversary events “20 Years On: Responsibility & Innovation.”

The fair, co-organized by the Jing’ansi Subdistrict, was the second of the four-event Sustainable Community Market held by the newspaper. They will also be held in Jiuting Town in Songjiang District and Lujiazui Subdistrict in the Pudong New Area.

Renowned companies from home and abroad designed a series of games to promote the latest environmental protection ideas and raise the public awareness in garbage sorting — a hot topic in town as it was just made mandatory this month.

“We’ve held many events to promote garbage sorting and green lifestyle, but this one is different and unique,” said Li Linbo, deputy director of the Party working committee of the subdistrict.

“As a subdistrict, what we have is restricted,” he said. “The fair has attracted many multinational companies and they bring our residents the latest concepts of sustainable lifestyle. It’s not just about garbage sorting. Rather, it’s about living green. We have to change our ways of living and it is the point.”

Lin Tao, a local resident and a grassroots official of the subdistrict, came with his neighbors. “We are so impressed by the ambience. Compared with classes or lectures, such interactive games are much more interesting,” he said.

At the site, despite of the scorching sun, children lined in queues to pedal bikes, specially designed by iDEALShanghai under Shanghai Daily, which can generate energy and power a set of car-racing toys.

Coca-Cola China erected exhibition boards to show how people recklessly handle used PET plastics, the most common type of polyester and commonly used in daily products.

PET can be recycled to make a wide range of products including clothes, shoes and bags. However, only about 7 percent of the 480 billion PET bottles produced globally in 2016 were recycled, and the rest were buried or burned.

Also, it displayed a model of a smart vending machine which can recycle the used drink containers and at the same time sells more than 10 drinks to people.

The official launch of the machine is planned in October. The model at the site allows people to get a new bottle of drink if they throw in three empty bottles.

Local food giant Bright Dairy prepared quizzes about garbage sorting and its milk as rewards.

Huang Chunhong, market manager of the company’s milk ordering department, said: “We’ve launched a milk box recycling campaign around the city. If you collect 10 used milk boxes and have us recycle them, you can obtain a box of fresh milk.”

Last month, Jing’an released a white paper to address waste-sorting issues that concern grassroots officials.

According to Cao Qian, director of the sanitation management section of the district’s greenery authority, the “designated spot, designated time” dumping system, which aims to improve the effectiveness of waste sorting as volunteers will be available to help residents, has troubled many grassroots officials.

Indeed, it’s hard to decide where to set the dumping site and to determine hours because residents have different needs. So, in many modern apartment buildings in the subdistrict, trash bins are now accessible on every floor.

“We should hear from our people and we allow neighborhoods to make their own decisions,” said Li.

Jinghua community, which has many historical residences, has set up a “trash bin chief” system, which asks local community officials and property management company managers to take the responsibility to make sure garbage sorting is achieved.

“Every trash bin in our community has its chief,” said Zhang Hanyun, director of Jinghua and a “trash bin chief” in the community.

Residents have complained about the lack of trash bins for kitchen residue, and thus the people in charge of the trash bins were required to make records every day, which have been used as evidences to add such trash bins, he said.


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