How to reduce consumption of plastic bags

Korea plans to ban plastic bags in supermarkets and malls this year to further tighten its crackdown on plastic waste. At present, Korea has in effect a plastic bag levy scheme making it compulsory for retail shops to charge extra fee for plastic bags. The new plan is about to further reduce the use of plastic bags, obliging the 11,000 supermarkets and 2,000 shopping malls to provide instead recycled paper bags, cardboard boxes or reusable bags.

The plan is a stricter enforcement against the use of plastic bags, which eliminates the use of plastic bags at one of the major consumption sources. Hong Kong imposed the first phase of an environmental levy on plastic shopping bags in 2009, which came into full force in 2015 to extend to more than 100,000 retail points. Though the levy yielded a significant decrease in the landfill disposal of plastic bags from the retail industry in the initial phase, consumption of the bags rebounded in 2016 at more than 9%. A more stringent approach may be needed to cut down on the usage.

Imposing a ban in the retail industry can be one effective measure. Hong Kong may learn from Korea in the fight against the consumption of plastic bags. Countries or regions such as Australia, China, Kenya, Chile, Karnataka in India, etc also ban the use of plastic bags. While it is vital for the government to take the lead in reducing plastic bag consumption, citizens’ environmental awareness to cut down on the usage is just as critical. Citizens can reduce plastic bag usage according to the 4R principles, namely reduce, reuse, recycle and replace.

In order to reduce the usage, we should only use plastic bags when necessary. Replacing plastic bags with reusable ones is an effective way. To make the most out of used plastic bags, we should reuse used ones. For example, we can clean the used plastic bags and save them in a tissue box to be easily dispensed for reuse. Making creative use of the plastic bags is also a good idea, such as crafting artistic decorations, recycled bags, umbrella wraps etc. We should avoid throwing plastic bags away by recycling the bags at the “brown” recyclables collection bins. By minimising the consumption of plastic bags and maximising the use, we can help build a greener city.


如何減少使用膠袋

南韓計劃今年內禁止超級市場和商場提供塑膠袋,現時韓國實行塑膠購物袋徵費,新政將進一步打擊塑膠廢物污染。韓國1.1萬間超市和2000個商場在新政下只能提供紙袋、紙箱或可重用膠袋代替膠袋。

南韓的膠袋新政嚴厲打繫塑膠袋,從消耗源頭減少使用膠袋。香港於2009年推行塑膠購物袋環保徵費計劃首階段,並在2015年全面實施,涵蓋逾100,000零售點。徵費計劃雖在首階段大量減少來自零售業的堆填區膠袋棄置量,但數字在2016年回升逾9%,若要改善情況,需更嚴厲的做法。

香港可學效南韓,禁止零售業提供膠袋。事實上許多國家或地區亦已實施無膠袋的做法,如澳洲、中國、肯雅、智利、印度的卡納塔克邦等等。雖然減少膠袋使用由政府帶頭至關重要,但市民有環保意識主動少用膠袋亦必不可少。市民可參考4R原則來減廢,即減少(Reduce)、重用(Reuse)、循環再用(Recycle)和替代(Replace)。

為了減少使用,我們應在必要時才使用,儘量以可重復使用的購物袋代替膠袋。如非必要用膠袋的話,膠袋使用後亦要物盡其用,例如,清潔後可用空紙巾盒放好方便下次使用。或創意利用膠袋,製作成藝術裝飾、環保袋或雨傘袋等,亦不失為廢物利用的好方法。如果要棄置膠袋,我們應該避免直接丟棄,而應把膠袋棄置到「啡膠樽」回收桶,讓膠袋得以循環再用。綠色城市需要市民的努力,以減少使用和物盡其用來減廢。

Baidu SEO

In a progress meeting with the China team, our general manager was complaining about the low visibility of the product website in Baidu.  She said our competitors managed to get theirs ranked first on the first page when certain keywords were entered, and this led to negative impacts to our frontline sales work.

According to Alexa, as of 4 Oct 2016, Baidu.com ranks No.1 in China, and No.4 globally. (See http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/baidu.com), with over 75% market share in terms of search requests (according to Analysys).  It is thus not hard to imagine, many of our customers in China tend to look up baidu for price comparison and background check.

Improving visibility and ranking for our website became one of the key tasks in the short term.  After the meeting, our digital marketing team kick-started a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) campaign, doing three things:

  1. identified keywords and researched their current status on baidu.com
  2. developed specific SEO strategies using our in-house framework, fine-tuned to Chinese based search engine and started building it up accordingly
  3. revamped our website and updated the contents regularly

With some luck, I believe, within two weeks, more than 70% of our identified keywords appeared on the first three pages in Baidu.  20% of them even appeared No.1!

Lessons learned:

  • Chinese keywords are different from English counterparts
  • People tend to search model number rather than brand, for example, “iPhone 7” rather than “Apple”
  • Good SEO can outperform Ad buy

Happy to hear from you on your SEO stories.


百度搜尋引擎優化

和內地同事開進度會議時,經理投訴我們的產品網頁在百度的可見度太低,她說搜索關鍵字眼時我們競爭對手的網站在第一頁頭幾項就出現了,對我們的前線銷售工作造成負面影響。

根據Alexa排名,直至2016年10月4日,百度是全球排行第四、中國排行第一的搜索引擎(詳見http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/baidu.com),並就搜索要求而言百度具75%市場佔有率(根據易觀),所以不難想像我們大部分在內地的顧客都會用百度比較價格和進行背景調查。

可見提高我們網站的可見度和排行相當重要,亦是當務之急。進度會議後我們的數位行銷同事立即着手搜尋引擎優化(Search Engine Optimisation,簡稱SEO)的項目,側重以下三點︰

  1. 辨認出與我們公司、產品、服務相關的關鍵字眼,並在百度上搜索相關狀況

  2. 使用我們的內部框架訂立特定的搜尋引擎優化策略,並向中文搜索引擎微調,循此方向進行構建

  3. 重整我們的網站,定期更新內容

兩星期內,逾70%我們辨出的關鍵字眼出現在百度搜索的首三頁中,兩成更登上第一!

得到的教訓︰

  • 中文的關鍵字眼和英文的不一樣

  • 大部分人傾向搜索產品型號多於牌子,如搜「iPhone7」而非「蘋果」

  • 優化搜尋引擎比在網頁登廣告更有用

你也有相似的關於優化搜尋引擎的經歷嗎?