“Jingle Bells”! Another Reunion Season or “Waste-quake”?
2018/12/7 10:29:00 本站

Holiday season, although it is not an official Chinese holiday period (compared with the Chinese New Year season), has become not only another period for family’s reunion, gathering with friends and recreation, but also a proper time to spend their disposable money.


(Photo credit: BBC)

Miller at Wilmington Trust Investment Advisors said in CNBC, "the Christmas retail shopping season is still an emergent trend and is likely to grow bigger and bigger in future years. Consequently, it is an increasingly important feature of China's personal consumption story."


According to Commercial Waste, in the UK, the combined Christmas dinners produce the same carbon footprint as a single car traveling 6,000 times around the world. It also gets through 4,500 tonnes of tin foil and 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging during the Christmas season.


Despite Christmas is not an official celebration holiday, it attracts more and more Chinese to spend money on it. China’s “shopping season” begins on November 11, known as Singles Day, and involves December 12, another lucky double day for shopping. And the season extends into Christmas and finish with the Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year.

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Number of annual active consumers across Alibaba's online shopping properties from 2nd quarter 2013 to 2nd quarter 2018 (in millions)  

(Photo credit: The Statistics Portal)

According to Alibaba, China’s biggest e-commerce company, the sales amounted to $30 billion over a 24-hour period on Singles’ Day this year, exceeding last year’s record of about $24 billion.


Last year, China faced a waste “hangover” with an estimated 160000 tonnes of packaging waste, including plastic, cardboard, and tape.


(Photo credit: REUTERS)

There is no doubt that Christmas will be “receiving” tremendous online shopping orders, leaving unaccountable waste again. However, the waste does not just stop on the online shopping spree.


As enjoying delicious dinner is one of the important celebration traditions of Chinese spending festivals, food waste and food delivery waste would be enormous as delivery service continues to surge.


The plastic packaging and disposable cutlery that comes with a typical food delivery (Photo credit: China Dialogue)

Last year, the Chongqing Green Volunteer League, a local environmental group encouraged by China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF), took legal actions called Environmental Public Interest Litigation (EPIL) against three giant operators Baidu Takeout, Ele.me and Meituan for failing to handle the problem by permitting consumers to order so much disposable food packaging and cutlery.


In the end, they added the option “No chopsticks” in their delivery platforms for consumers to choose when ordering food. However, food waste and delivery waste are still facing an increasing rise. To achieve green consumption and manufacturing, public awareness and environmental education are inevitable.

By / Cat