Recycling Revolution

Shanghai residents are all gearing up for a massive recycling overhaul. Since this past month, the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau has been releasing official domestic garbage sorting and dumping guidelines to the general public. It will take time for everyone to naturally be conscious of their garbage habits but I hope this initiative will be followed through with an effective positive outcome for the future.

The new regulations will come into effect on July 1 and we are seeing every building and garbage collection point getting themselves ready for the change. Friends have also told me of neighbourhood door-door knocking with brochures in hand to help clarify the guidelines for residents. Have a look at the charts below and see if they are clear enough. Individuals can be fined up to 200 rmb for failing to sort garbage. Last year, residents were fined for not slowing down at yellow traffic lights and for honking, so garbage sorting should eventually work as well.

It’s quite a detailed chart no? With very specific Asian ingredients.

It’s quite a detailed chart no? With very specific Asian ingredients.

Now I know were to put my hair but I’m not sure if slag is saliva or something else? 

Now I know were to put my hair but I’m not sure if slag is saliva or something else? 

The English translations have been very well done overall. 

The English translations have been very well done overall. 

I’m really hoping that the recyclables will really be recycled. 

I’m really hoping that the recyclables will really be recycled. 

With larger items like sofas, mattresses, fridges etc. There will be collection points where people can drop those off. I’ve also been told that I won’t be able to discard any leftover food in the public trash cans and will have to keep it with me until I come across a food waste bin. Shanghai has been trying to reduce food waste in restaurants this past year and so this will hopefully help with that as well.

New bins at Ikea today. 

New bins at Ikea today. 

This will be a very interesting exercise to witness and participate in and by the time we leave Shanghai, this city is perhaps going to green clean.

China's Latest Craze

Bike-sharing has hit China's major cities in a very big way. The last six month has seen a boom of colourful bicycles on streets, with the most number in Shanghai- 450,000 bicyles. Unlike other bike-sharing companies, here we can pick them up and drop them off anywhere; no need for docking stations.

I was in Beijing and rode back to my hotel after meeting a friend. It took less time than the taxi ride there. 

I was in Beijing and rode back to my hotel after meeting a friend. It took less time than the taxi ride there. 

There were about 30 companies at the outset but now, the two biggest companies are Mobike and ofo. Mobike costs 1 rmb per hour and ofo costs .50 rmb per hour. That's crazy no? The companies claim that the bikes only need to be used 2-3 times per day to break even. There are no current projections as to when profitability will begin but it's been six months and smaller companies have already started to drop out of the race. Remember it took a very long time before Amazon was able to generate profits.

Unlocking the bikes with an app. 

Unlocking the bikes with an app. 

Personally I think it's great to see so many people on bikes again and our Chinese friends say they love that they can enjoy being active with their friends and family and instead of going for walks after dinner, they all jump on bikes and go for a ride together. The cost is minimal and everyone can join in.

Image source: businessinsider.com.au

Image source: businessinsider.com.au

Unfortunately, the bike-sharing isn't properly regulated and some bikes get left at very inconvenient or weird places. The Shanghai police recently went through the city and picked up any loose bike lying around and got them off the streets. They are now working to get some rules and regulations in place for the operating companies. I've read that Mobike, ofo and Bluegogo are aiming for the overseas markets as well... some without official permission... Uber-style.

Surprise, Surprise!

I hope everyone had a great start to the new year and are recovering well from all the fun and frivolities. Here's breaking news from Germany that can make kids smile: Due to stormy weather, a freight ship has lost a shipping container full of Kinder Surprises off the north coast!

Langeoog Island. Image source: NOZ

Langeoog Island. Image source: NOZ

Well, not the entire chocolate-covered egg, but only the plastic egg with the miniature toys inside. It looks like an awful environmental disaster and I'm hoping that the sea creatures in the area aren't swallowing them up. Residents of Langeoog Island, where the plastic eggs have washed up, are collecting as many as they can to help with the clean-up and primary schools will soon be bussed to the beaches to assist as well :o)

Image source: MM

Image source: MM

Our friend, MM, happens to work on the island and sent us pictures of her small stash. MM's clean-up effort will go to her nephews but she was just too curious and had to open some to see what was inside :o) Surprise!