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It seems like a fact that having take-out food has become a large part of the Chinese’s daily life. All you need to do is to add your dishes to the shopping cart and after 40 minutes, the delivery will reach your home. Quite simple, right? But think of it from another standing point: behind this convenient shortcut, how much plastic waste we would throw away?

 

外卖似乎已经成为中国人日常生活的重要组成部分。你所需要做的就是把你想吃的食物放到购物车里,40分钟后,快递就会到达你的家。很简单,对吧?但从另一个角度想想:在这个便捷的捷径后面,我们会扔掉多少塑料垃圾?

 

 

This is exactly what Ele.me is dealing with. Founded in April 2009, Ele.me is an online ordering platform aiming to “Make Everything 30min”. By June 2017, the online food delivery platform has covered 2,000 cities in China, with 1.3 million restaurants and 260 million users. While the performance continues to improve rapidly, the company also employs more than 15,000 people. It has raised $2.34 billion so far. Besides its well-developed delivery system, now Ele.me sets about making the packaging more degradable, sustainable, and recyclable. Beginning in July, after more than two months of pilot operations, the first take-out plastic waste recycling pilot project, led by Ele.me’s sustainable experiment lab, Relab, was successfully launched. Taking advantage of its own platform and data, on the basis of the existing business influence, starting from the user guide platform, it hopes to reach sustainable development and give more tangible help to promote the recycling policy. At the beginning of the process, it put the waste bin for only take-out waste in the third-floor tea rooms of WeWork headquarter. After getting the waste, it turns the plastic into 350KG recycled take-out plastic particles. The recycled particles were eventually upgraded to 21 succulent floret pots. As you see, Ele.me does give the takeaway plastic a second life!

 

这正是饿了么想要解决的。饿了么公司成立于20094月,是一家致力于“30min打造一切的在线订购平台。到20176月,该在线外卖平台已覆盖中国2000个城市,拥有130万家餐厅和2.6亿用户。尽管业绩持续快速提升,但该公司还雇佣了逾1.5万名员工。到目前为止,它已经筹集了23.4亿美元。除了完善的配送体系外,现在饿了么还着手让包装更加可降解、可持续和可循环利用。7月初,经过两个多月的试点工作,饿了么可持续实验室Relab领导的第一个外卖塑料垃圾回收试点项目成功启动。利用自己的平台和数据,在现有业务影响力的基础上,从用户引导平台入手,饿了么希望实现可持续发展,为推动回收政策提供更多实实在在的帮助。在流程开始的时候,他们只把垃圾桶放在了WeWork总部三楼的茶室里。在回收到垃圾后,它将塑料变成350公斤的回收塑料颗粒。回收的颗粒最终被升级为21个多肉的小花盆。如你所见,饿了么确实给外卖塑料带来了第二次生命!

 

 

In addition, some interesting conclusions have been reached during the process of recycling. One is that the rate of the waste thrown in the bin used by the people in Wework is more than 40% when there is someone taking care of the bin, while it is less than 30% if no one is on duty to make sure people throw their take away packaging in the bin.

 

此外,在回收的过程中也得出了一些有趣的结论。一是当有人看守回收垃圾桶时,将所使用的垃圾扔进回收桶的人超过40%,但当没有人看守时回收率不足30%

 

Another is that the financial incentive is not so strong when it comes to environmental protection, for Ele.me intended to create an incentive for people to recycle the packaging by providing them with a scan code through which people can get some money after throwing the waste. However, the rate of people scanning the code to get money is low. 

 

另一个方面是,当涉及到环境保护时,金钱激励并不那么强烈。饿了么本打算通过扫码领红包来鼓励人们回收包装,这样人们就可以在扔垃圾后得到一些奖励。然而,就算人们把外卖垃圾分类了,他们扫码领红包的比率很低。

 

 

Nevertheless, the idea of recycling the take-out packages is a good start to turn the waste into treasures. As Vans Zhang, the person in charge of the sustainable lab, claims, by creating the environmentally friendly products, it can bring consumers into the process and engage brainstorming. One small step is just the beginning. Ele.me expects to gather more enterprises and institutional partners to participate in the takeout plastic waste recycling operation, create and optimize the existing recycling mechanism, and promote a solution that can extend to more scenarios.

 

回收外卖包装的想法是一个很好的开始,把垃圾变成珍宝。正如可持续实验室负责人Vans Zhang所言,通过创造环保产品,它可以让消费者参与进来,一起思考解决方式。一小步只是开始。饿了么希望召集更多的企业和机构合作伙伴参与回收塑料垃圾回收操作,创建和优化现有的回收机制,并推广一种可以延伸到更多场景的解决方案。

 

 

Related article: 

Plastic Ban Laws: Around An Aspiring Green Globe. 禁塑料法:围绕一个有抱负的绿色地球。 

The Sea Cleaner: Removing Plastic Islands with a Sailing Boat 用一艘帆船清

 

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