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January 5, 2010

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More restaurants want you to order less food

MORE than 60 restaurants and hotels are expected to take part in a program to encourage customers not to order too many dishes and to offer discounts or gifts for patrons who take doggy bags home.

Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau officials said yesterday that they are still recruiting participants but the program will run throughout the year to help reduce waste and improve the environment.

Five restaurants in Jing'an District have taken part in a pilot trial since April last year and found their daily waste was reduced by up to 20 percent.

"We decided to promote the program to more restaurants with the cooperation of Shanghai Restaurant Association and Shanghai Tourism Trade Association's hotel industry branch this year," said Fu Liping, an official from the bureau's waste management department.

"The practice benefits restaurants, customers and the environment when people order the proper amount of food or take leftovers home," she said.

Shanghai generates 1,000 tons of food waste every day. Restaurants pay a waste disposal fee of 60 yuan (US$8.78) per 50 kilogram barrel. "The appropriate order of food and takeaway means restaurant can save this cost," she said.

To encourage restaurants and customers, the bureau is considering offering more benefits such as discounted waste disposal fees for restaurants and lucky draws for customers featuring gifts including the 2010 World Expo tickets.

Restaurants which took part in the trial said the practice was a good way of cutting down on waste.

Wang Zhengping, manager of Deng's Restaurant on Changde Road, said his restaurant used to have 250 kilograms of waste every day but it dropped to 200 kilograms after the trial started.


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