China's university canteens introduce new ways to promote Clean Your Plate drive
People's Daily Online

At the beginning of the new semester, canteens from colleges and universities in Beijing came up with new ways to encourage students to prevent wasting food and “clean their plates.

Students buy "small fried dish" in a canteen in the Capital University of Economics and Business (Photo: Cao Haipeng)

In order to encourage teachers and students to empty their plates, in addition to providing half servings of rice, canteens at Beihang University have begun to produce and sell handmade "mini-sized steamed buns" at a low price.

One of the canteens has also provided a half-price "small fried dish”, while some other canteens allow customers to take food themselves and pay according to the weight of the meals.

"Finally, there is no need to worry about having meals with inappropriate servings. It's perfect, as I can buy one and a half servings now," said a girl at the canteen.

Meals suitable for sale by weight can be counted in tael at canteens of Tsinghua University.

Rice can also be bought in tael, and a large steamed bun can be sold in halves. Furthermore, the canteens also provide takeaway packaging to encourage students to pack up their leftovers.

Canteens at the Capital University of Economics and Business have provided windows for small servings of food. "It's hard not to have an empty plate," said Feng Boyi, a sophomore, adding that "it's very scientifically designed.”

At a canteen of the university, teachers and students can get rewards such as paper tissues and fruits with their emptied plates. The school also plans to upgrade the intelligent settlement system to help make the Clean Your Plate campaign a normal part of canteen procedure.

Students from the China Agricultural University can be rewarded with customized university-themed tableware if they post photos of their emptied plates on their social media.

Ma Ziwei, organizer of the activity and deputy secretary of the university’s Youth League Committee, said that the purpose of this activity is to teach freshmen the first lesson on not wasting food and to create a strong campus atmosphere of cherishing food.