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Fashionable Italian doggy bags
Fashionable Italian doggy bags
Cynthia Martens

MILAN — Taking home leftover food from a restaurant is not common practice in Italy, where your fresh plate of lasagna should be finished the first time around. Basta. But as the world struggles to reduce food waste, even Italians may be coming around to the idea of leaving a meal with leftovers in hand — provided that they are packed in stylish doggy bags.

Leading the charge in this revolution, not surprisingly, is fashion capital Milan. Turin daily La Stampa reports that back in 2010, the Lombard association Cena dell'amicizia (friendship dinner) began distributing paper bags to local restaurants in an effort to "break down the walls of embarrassment" associated with doggy bags.

Italy's National Consortium for the Recovery and Recycling of Cellulose-based Packaging (COMIECO), and the grassroots Slow Food organization followed suit recently with a new initiative, hiring designers and illustrators to create doggy bags sufficiently modish to suit local tastes.

The country's environmental ministry, meanwhile, has been testing the waters in the Veneto region with "elegant pochettes" for leftovers — "Family Bags," the government calls them. Aarf!

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Green

China Can't Kick Its Coal Habit

China has endured two months of scorching heatwaves and drought that have affected power supply in the country. Spooked by future energy security, Beijing is reinvesting heavily in coal with disastrous implications for climate change.

The Datang International Zhangjiakou Power Plant shown at dusk in Xuanhua District of Zhangjiakou City, north China's Hebei Province.

Guangyi Pan and Hao Yang*

Two months of scorching heatwaves and drought plunged China into an energy security crisis.

The southwest province of Sichuan, for example, relies on dams to generate around 80% of its electricity, with growth in hydropower crucial for China meeting its net-zero by 2060 emissions target.

Sichuan suffered from power shortages after low rainfall and extreme temperatures over 40℃ dried up rivers and reservoirs. Heavy rainfall this week, however, has just seen power in Sichuan for commercial and industrial use fully restored, according to official Chinese media.

The energy crisis has seen Beijing shift its political discourse and proclaim energy security as a more urgent national mission than the green energy transition. Now, the government is investing in a new wave of coal-fired power stations to try to meet demand.

In the first quarter of 2022 alone, China approved 8.63 gigawatts of new coal plants and, in May, announced C¥ 10 billion (around $1.4 billion) of investment in coal power generation. What’s more, it will expand the capacity of a number of coal mines to ensure domestic supply as the international coal market price jumped amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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