Advisers and lawmakers in session this week

Annual conferences to hear submissions on making life easier for city's elderly citizens and improving the ecological environment.

The “Two Sessions” — the annual conferences of the city’s political advisory and legislative bodies — are being held this week.

The first session of the 13th Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) will begin on Monday morning and the 15th Shanghai People’s Congress (SPC) will have its first plenary meeting on Tuesday.

Improving public welfare and the business environment, deepening opening-up, enhancing food security and sustainable development are among the key issues to be addressed by the political advisers during session that will run through Saturday.

Zhang Xuhao, co-founder of online catering service platform ele.me and a new political adviser, said he would be submitting a proposal to reduce disposable dishware as Shanghai is dedicated in building up an ecological city.

“As an online food delivery platform, we’ve found the use of one-off dishware is a problem for the city’s environmental ambition,” Zhang told media before attending a preparatory meeting ahead of the formal session.

“But there is no related law or regulations now and I wish to fill in the gap," he said.

Zhang said his company had launched a pilot program recently to ask consumers to choose whether they needed disposable chopsticks when placing their orders. Some 15 percent of Shanghai consumers had clicked “no” in the past month, topping residents in other areas.

He wants the government to introduce related laws or regulations to achieve better results in encouraging the public and restaurants to reduce use of disposable packaging.

On the other hand, when restaurants are using large number of containers or packing boxes and bags, Zhang proposed the government promote the use of biodegradable ones, by providing subsidies to producers and users.

Tao Yinyan, of Shanghai Oriental Webcasting Culture Industry Development Co, said she would submit a proposal to make life easier for elderly citizens in the technological age.

“Many old people, including my parents, are slow to learn how to use the new technologies,” she said. “They don’t know how to use smartphone apps to book a taxi, or pick up packages from self-service machines, or even register for a course at community colleges.”

“When technologies are making young people’s life more convenient, they are also bringing inconvenience to senior citizens,” she added.

She suggested the government to retain traditional options for old people and set up a fund to provide training for them to learn how to use the new technologies.

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