Disposable items alert for restaurants
A hotpot restaurant in Xuhui District was issued with a rectification notice by the local market watchdog on Monday for providing diners with unrequested disposable items, while online food delivery platforms Ele.me and Meituan were found to be still providing unrequested disposable items.
The former was the first rectification notice of its kind issued by market watchdogs after Shanghai's new domestic garbage-sorting regulations came into effect.
The outlet of hotpot chain Yuli Hotpot inside Xuhui ASE Mall was found providing disposable chopsticks that hadn't been asked for when officials with the Xuhui District Administration for Market Regulation visited.
The restaurant was ordered to rectify within 15 days or face punishment.
Under the new regulations, Restaurants and food delivery businesses are banned from providing customers with four disposable items, including chopsticks and spoons, unless they are requested.
Catering service providers will first be asked to rectify the practice or face a fine of between 500 yuan (US$73) and 5,000 yuan if they continue to provide such items.
"Punishment is not the purpose, but to push companies to pay attention to garbage sorting," said Ding Lei, director of the food safety supervision and management department of the administration.
The same problem was spotted at two eateries in Huangpu District by Shanghai Daily reporters during a visit on Monday afternoon.
At an eatery featuring chuanchuanxiang — Sichuan-style skewers cooked in spicy soup — on Fuzhou Road, disposable tableware bags were seen placed on every table for diners to use.
The bags contained disposable chopsticks.
A crayfish restaurant called Xiabeile on Tianjin Road was found with some disposable chopsticks and tableware bags left on a table after diners had finished their meal.
On Monday night, Shanghai Daily reporters ordered food from two restaurants on Ele.me and Meituan, and both provided bags containing disposable chopsticks, spoons and napkins. There were no pop-up reminders to ask consumers if they needed disposable tableware or not.
Shanghai Daily ordered a bowl from the People’s Square outlet of a beef rice noodle eatery chain Xinhuaxi on Ele.me, a leading domestic food delivery app, on Monday evening and didn't make any choice about whether tableware was required. However, when the food arrived, there was a set of disposable tableware inside the bag.
The other delivery was from Alading malatang (a Sichuan-style meat and vegetable soup) inside In Point shopping mall in Jing'an District and ordered on Meituan.
Hotels in Shanghai should stop providing six disposable items such as toothbrushes and combs from Monday unless guests request them under the regulations.
The items also include bath scrub sponges, razors, nail files and shoeshine pads.
On Monday afternoon, Shanghai Daily checked out four local hotels at different levels in Huangpu District, including both star hotels and budget ones.
All four hotels — Charms Hotel, outlets of Yitel Hotel, Hanting Hotel and Home Inn — were found to have removed disposable toiletries from their rooms.
At the Hanting Hotel branch, a notice was placed at the reception desk to tell customers that hotels in the Huazhu Hotels Group will no longer offer six pieces of disposable toiletries starting from July 1. If a customer needs one or a few of them, he or she can ask for them at reception.