Win Gifts for Clearing Your Plate with This WeChat Mini Program

By Joshua Cawthorpe, August 26, 2020

0 0

A new hero has emerged in China’s fight against food waste in the form of a WeChat Mini Program that recognizes empty plates and rewards users with points. These points can then be redeemed for gifts like books and wine, or better yet, they can be used to provide meals for impoverished children in rural areas of China.

The app is called 光盘打卡 or ‘Clean Plate Clock-In’ and has nearly a million users, according to China Daily. Liu Jichen, the founder of the technology startup that built the app, originally had the idea in 2017 when he dined at a restaurant that rewarded guests who cleared their plates

“We hope our efforts can start a new trend among the younger generation, encouraging them to carry out the virtue of cherishing food and developing the habit of thrift,” Liu said, as cited by China Daily.

Over the course of half a year, Liu and his team compiled 100,000 pictures of empty plates from canteens and restaurants around China to train the digital brain. 

Screengrabs via 光盘大卡

The timing is perfect as a nationwide campaign to tackle wasteful eating habits is gaining momentum. President Xi Jinping recently reinvigorated the fight against food waste in a speech about China’s food security. Food waste is a problem all around the world ,but recent flooding and the COVID-19 pandemic have emphasized the need to improve food security in China.

READ MORE: China Launches 'Clean Plate Campaign' to Reduce Food Waste

The app has been well received and a growing number of restaurants and institutions have approached the startup to cooperate. In addition to clean plates, the app also recognizes empty takeout containers and is very easy to use.

Check out the video below to see how the app works (VPN off):  

Most notably, the startup offers a range of charities that users can choose from if they want to double down on their good deeds. 

The first option is to donate a breakfast or lunch to Addis Ababa public school through the Lingshan Charity Foundation’s children’s program in Ethiopia. 

Users can also donate their hard earned ‘eating’ points to support the Yuhua Charity Action Fund, which operates more than 700 volunteer-run free vegetarian restaurants around China, as reported by People’s Daily

Another option is to support the Free Lunch for Children program that operates in more than 1,200 schools in poor areas around the country.

charities.jpgScreengrab via 光盘打卡

The hashtag ‘Operation Clean Plate’ (#光盘行动#) started by the Chinese Communist Youth League has gained more than 630 million views on Weibo. A similar hashtag ‘Big Clean Plate Challenge’ (#光盘挑战大赛#) initiated by People’s Daily has a further 360 million views.

The social media campaign aims to promote awareness about food waste and how to be more conscientious. Chinese netizens have been using the hashtag to share pictures of their own empty plates as a way to participate in the movement.

To access the Mini Program, search ‘光盘打卡’ on WeChat.

[Cover image via Pexels]

more news

POSTPONED: Food & Drink Quiz at Cages

Calling all Shanghai foodies, connoisseurs, bon vivants, gourmands and gastronomes.

This Quiz Has Great Prizes and Half Price Food & Drink!

An RMB200 voucher and three bottles of prosecco are up for grabs!

3 UnTour Street Food Tours to Hit Up This May Holiday

Some of Shanghai’s best food is found street side around town.

Last Chance to Get Tickets to the That's Food & Drink Awards!

Our glitziest and most glamorous event of the year!

8 Fantastic Food Delivery Deals

Why not start with 15% off your entire order? Or 20% off curry and stews? Or some free dips?

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at Thats_Shanghai for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Shanghai With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Shanghai!

Visit the archives