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From Street Litter Picker to Recycling Vending Machine: An Authentic Look into Recycling in China (2/2)

by Philix & Keris

1 February 2024

This is a second part of our series on Recycling in China. In this post, we handpicked some interesting case studies around recycling campaigns and innovations in China.

Stay tuned for more insights into China's dynamic market trends! 📊🌏

Hushang Recycling Center: Promoting Convenient Recycling Facilities

‘Hushang Recycling’ is a brand initiated by the Shanghai municipal government for the unified paid recycling of recyclable materials generated in residents’ daily lives (such as waste paper, plastics, textiles, electrical appliances, glass, and metals). In 2023, to further consolidate the effectiveness of household waste sorting, Shanghai advanced towards the ‘Shanghai Model’ 2.0 era. By the end of 2023, the city completed the transformation of 500 standardized household waste stations. These ‘Hushang Recycling’ facilities have optimized waste sorting and disposal in communities by setting reasonable disposal times, matching disposal containers as needed, strengthening the environmental sanitation management of disposal points, and arranging the frequency of transfer and transportation in an orderly manner. This improves the disposal environment and facilitates residents’ waste sorting and recycling.Reward Plans to Promote

Manner Bring-Your-Own-Cup Campaign: Recycling Habits

The ‘Manner Bring-Your-Own-Cup’ campaign began in 2015. To spread the eco-friendly concept of using non-disposable cups from the start, Manner has encouraged customers to bring their own cups to the store for coffee purchases since opening its first store in 2015. Manner has now opened 1100 stores nationwide, covering 21 provinces and 53 cities across the country. The eco-friendly concept of bringing your own cup has spread from first-tier cities to more and lower-tier cities. Many consumers even call online for the Manner Bring-Your-Own-Cup campaign to come to their cities and communities.

Coca-Cola: Supporting Community Recycling and Environmental Activities

Coca-Cola, through its collaboration with Dayu Creation, engages with community residents to organize the ‘Recycle Me, I’m Back’ community co-creation aesthetic recycling exhibition. The event showcases to nearby residents the derivative products remade from recycled plastic bottles, encouraging them to join in plastic bottle recycling. The most popular rPET recycled products, such as sun umbrellas and shared umbrellas, were selected through community resident voting. According to recent news, Coca-Cola has announced the use of 100% recycled plastic bottles in several markets.

Alipay: Environmental Education and Communication

In August 2016, the Alipay supply sector officially launched ‘Ant Forest’, a public welfare project aimed at promoting public low-carbon emission reduction. The carbon emissions saved by users’ behaviors such as walking instead of driving, paying utility bills online, and purchasing tickets online are calculated as virtual ‘green energy,’ which is used to grow virtual trees in the mobile app. Once a virtual tree is fully grown, Alipay’s Ant Forest and its public welfare partners plant a real tree on Earth or protect a corresponding area of conservation land, encouraging and motivating users’ low-carbon environmental behaviors. When a certain amount of ‘green energy’ is accumulated, users can apply through their phones to plant a real tree in an area in need of ecological restoration or ‘adopt’ conservation rights in areas needing biodiversity protection.

According to official data from Alipay, as of August 31, 2023, Ant Forest has involved over one billion users, planting a total of 660 million trees and covering over 1.3 million mu (approximately 216,000 acres). In the more than seven years since its launch, the Ant Forest project has planted 475 million trees and participated in the construction of 31 nature reserves, supporting ecological construction in 22 provinces including Inner Mongolia and Gansu.

Ant Forest’s various ecological public welfare projects have created over 3.7 million labor income opportunities in planting, maintenance, and patrolling. Ant Forest has also launched other public welfare projects focusing on ecological environment and sustainable development, such as ‘Magical Ocean’, ‘Protected Area Patrolling’, and ‘Ancient Tree Protection’.

Proya: Reusing Package for Stay Cats

Proya Cosmetics recently launched a collaboration gift box with Stray Cat Nest. When consumers receive the product, they can quickly transform the delivery box into a warm cat box. Proya also includes a soft mat in the gift box. The price of this gift box set is the same as a regular gift box. Proya’s initiative to encourage consumers to join the ‘turning waste into treasure’ activity has received positive feedback from consumers. At the same time, Proya is actively supporting the recyclable recycling of courier packaging through its actions.


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