Briefing: Hema partners with Alipay to gamify plastic-free shopping

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盒马鲜生:购物不购买塑料袋可获得21g蚂蚁森林能量 – PingWest

What happened: Alibaba’s Hema supermarket today announced on Weibo that its stores will not provide free plastic bags at checkout this Thursday (Feb. 28). If shoppers choose not to buy plastic bags or use free ones after Thursday they receive 21 grams of “green energy” points. The reward points will go into Alipay users’ Ant Forest carbon account. The initiative is part of a larger campaign launched by Hema and Alipay to encourage users to adopt a greener lifestyle. Hema said it expects the initiative to save over 12 million plastic bags and generate green energy points enough to plant 15,000 trees.

Why it’s important: Alipay’s Ant Forest gamifies personal carbon footprint tracking—as users accumulate enough green energy points, a real tree gets planted. The app is designed to encourage users to take up a greener lifestyle such as selling or buying second-hand goods and taking public transportation. Ant Forest, launched in 2016, is said to be the world’s largest platform for personal carbon accounts. The company claimed to have planted over 55 million trees covering around 507 square kilometers across the country since launch.