China's 'Clean Your Plate Campaign' seeing progress in reducing food waste Public Radio International PRI Marketing executives Zhang Ye and Xia Xue helped organize China's “Clean Your Plate” campaign when they saw students at a Beijing university...
“China is rich now, people finally have something to spend,” he said. “The other thing is China’s dining culture. If there’s something left in the plates, they have their face. They have a sense of security. If you have more than you actually need, it’s something to be proud of.”
But the new campaign uses the slogan “I’m proud of my clear plate.”
The campaigners also started posting on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, which has some 400 million users. They weren’t the first to do this. Almost a year earlier, journalist Xu Zhijun, had posted a photo of an empty plate on Weibo, with the caption “Operation Empty Plate.” He’d moved to Beijing from a smaller town, and, like Zhang Ye and Xia Xue, was shocked by how much food Beijingers left on restaurant tables.
But Zhang and Xia and their friends had better timing. Their call to action came just after new Communist Party chief Xi Jinping came to power, demanding an end to extravagant banquets and other self-indulgences by party officials. Last year, government officials spent $48 billion on state banquets.