BJ: The Swedish National Day celebration in Beijing 2018

f.t.l Erika Staffas, Office Manager, Louise Utterström, Consultant, Min Li, Junior Advisor Six Year Plan, Jaycee Yang, Member Service Manager.

Beijing, June 6 2018 Ι Yesterday the Embassy of Sweden in Beijing invited diplomatic colleagues, Swedish companies and friends to attend the annual National Day celebration. SwedCham’s Beijing office was present to promote the Plastic Free campaign, as the Embassy’s focus this year is sustainability.

The Ambassador of Sweden to China and Mongolia, Mrs. Anna Lindstedt, initiated with a welcome speech and thanked all the participants present the Renaissance Hotel in Beijing. The National Day Celebration is the biggest Swedish promotional event of the year, attended by more than 1000 guests. Invited to exhibit was also several Swedish companies, such as Volvo Cars, Volvo Group, Ericsson, Tetra Pak and AstraZeneca.

The Plastic Free Challenge is a concept inspired by Swedish Chamber in Hong Kong, where member companies are challenged to minimise their plastic waste. At the National Celebration in Beijing SwedCham had prepared a Plastic Free quiz and the opportunity to win a chocolate box from Fillidutt, as well as a chart where the guests could write down their own ideas on how to minimise plastic waste, in order to raise awareness of this issue.

Amongst SwedCham’s member companies the following companies have joined the Plastic Free Challenge so far; KappAhl, Stora Enso, Arenco, Bamboo, Ericsson, Lyckeby, Nord-lock Group, Ericsson, Green Carrier, Sigma Technology, Elekta, Nilorn, Volvo Cars, Epiroc, Handelsbanken and SEB.

The evening offered many surprises, including but not limited to a performance by Cherrie, Swedish R&B singer just back from a tour in the US, and Tulegur, a modern nomad group with roots from Inner Mongolia.

Do you want to learn more about the Plastic Free Challenge? E-mail Martin@SwedCham.cn for more information. 

No Time (or Plastic) to Waste – Let’s go Plastic Free Together!

The Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China is raising the awareness of Plastic Waste. Single-use plastic disposables, including plastic takeaway containers, cups, plates and bowls; plastic straws and stirrers; plastic bags; and plastic beverage bottles, pose a grim environmental problem around the world as plastics do not break down easily in nature.

Inspired by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, SwedCham China is now challenging its members to make a “Say No to Plastic Waste” resolution for 2018/2019. If you respond in the affirmative to the following statement, then you are ready to accept the challenge:

Starting in 2018, we will not use any disposable plastic materials, such as plastic bottles, plastic cutlery etc. in our China workplace. When possible we will use reusable utensils, cups and packaging.

By notifying SwedCham that you are accepting the “Say No to Plastic Waste” challenge, you authorize SwedCham to list your company as participant in the “Say No to Plastic Waste” challenge on the SwedCham website and in SwedCham publications.

We are hopeful that a high participation rate among SwedCham members can lead to other chambers of commerce and business organization in China accepting the challenge as well!

Do you dare to accept the challenge?
Accept the challenge by sending an email to Martin@Swedcham.cn.

The Issue:

The world produces more than 300 million tons of plastic every year, including billions of plastic bottles and five billion plastic bags. Last year 480 billion plastic drinking bottles were sold across the world – up from 300 billion a decade earlier. If placed end to end, this would reach halfway to the sun. Today China’s consumption of bottled water makes up nearly a quarter of global demand.

Since plastic does not decompose, and is for the most part not recycled, it needs to go somewhere. Sadly, huge amounts of plastic end up littering our landscape and our oceans. Natural beauty is being ruined, plastic is entering our own food chain, and entire ecosystems are threatened.

In July 2017, China filed a notice with the World Trade Organization announcing its decision to stop importing 24 types of foreign waste and to dramatically tighten its standards for impurities in scrap bales. The government also has announced a plan to completely ban plastic waste imports in 2019. This is a time to take recycling to the next stage and focus on how to handle the domestic plastic recycling and how to cut the usage of non-recyclable plastic.

Although we are expecting the Chinese government and producers of plastic products to step up and shoulder their responsibility, SwedCham firmly believes that all of us, as consumers, need to help with reducing plastic waste at source. SwedCham is therefore reaching out to its members with a challenge!