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“Peace For Earth”: What is the message on the “Letters to the Future” made from plastic waste?

Date : 2021/12/24Category : News

Pizza 4P’s is trying to carry out environmentally-conscious projects step by step in order to achieve the vision “Make the World Smile for Peace”. We started our original article series “Peace for Earth” focusing on such sustainable projects in our company.

The topic of this article will focus on the “Letters to the Future” which is a 10th anniversary project. This year, Pizza 4P’s celebrated its 10th anniversary. How should Pizza 4P’s welcome this memorable year? How should we communicate our vision and the message we want to convey through our business to the people at this special time? After months of conversations with Ki Saigon, a strategy and creative agency based in Ho Chi Minh City, we started a project called “Letters to the Future” to write letters to our descendants a thousand years in the future. We will share the background of this project and the thoughts behind it, as well as the real-life situation of a company working on sustainable actions in Vietnam.

How can we communicate the mind of compassion?

This year, Pizza 4P’s made a major update to the company’s mission statement. We took the mission “Delivering Wow, Sharing Happiness” that they had been using since the beginning of the company and made it more detailed to what they want to achieve today.

The new mission statement is 4P’s serves access to inner peace which empowers compassionate acts; thus cultivating lifelong happiness for all.

This new mission statement clearly articulates what we are aiming for. It is to bring peace to people’s hearts, so that everyone can feel continuous happiness.

We believe that compassion, compassionate attitude toward others, and actions based on it are important to bring about these changes. Pizza 4P’s wants to achieve this through its business, and in this project to celebrate its 10th anniversary, we wanted to convey this “compassion” for others in the best possible way.

How would you feel if one day you received a letter from your ancestors a thousand years ago?

“How would you feel if one day you received a letter from your ancestors a thousand years ago?”, this project was born from such a question.

If an ancestor of a thousand years ago had written a letter to you, what kind of feelings would it contain? What kind of thoughts would be written in it? About life, secrets of the past, lessons of life, stories to share with the future. What would it say about you?

And what if you could write a letter to your own descendants a thousand years from now? What kind of message would you write in it?

Whatever the content of the letter, it would probably be a very personal message from parent to child. And perhaps it will be full of love. It is a wish for the happiness of one’s descendants in a future where one no longer exists.

This letter and its experiences can surely bring a heart full of compassion to both the writer and the reader. We believe that this will lead to the inner peace and lifelong happiness that Pizza 4P’s aims for. That is what we believe, and that is why we have launched this project.

Compassion and plastic waste will continue for a thousand years to come

There was one more important message that we wanted to convey in this project. That is the issue of plastic waste.

The amount of plastic produced in the world is on the rise, and Vietnam is the fourth largest emitter of ocean plastic waste in the world. Ordinary plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose, and instead of returning to the natural environment on a molecular level, it turns into countless microplastics that pollute the soil and sea. In addition, microplastics can easily absorb harmful substances due to their material properties, and there are concerns that fish and shrimp may eat them, which could lead to health problems for humans as well.

Furthermore, it is said that only 9% of the total amount of plastic produced in the world to date has been recycled. The other 12% is incinerated, and the remaining 79% is landfilled as garbage or abandoned in the natural environment. These plastic wastes left in the natural environment will continue to exist for hundreds of years, maybe even a thousand years, and will continue to have an impact on the environment.

Plastic is something that we all use without thinking. For example, plastic bags at the supermarket, straws at cafes, and packaging for snacks. They are inexpensive, light, and durable. Because of these merits, they are still used in many places around the world today, but we are still too unaware of what happens to them after they are used.

In fact, even Pizza 4P’s has ended up using a lot of plastic. All the homemade cheeses made in the cheese factory are delivered to each store in plastic packages. The same goes for pasta sauces and semi-foods made in central kitchens. Every day, a huge amount of plastic is used and thrown away. The garbage truck collects the discarded plastic waste, but we don’t pay attention to what happens to it. We don’t really understand where it goes or how it ends up.

The current plastic waste problem continues to worsen. In order to raise awareness of this problem among many people, we have decided to write a letter to our descendants a thousand years from now on the plastic waste that will remain for a thousand years.

To our descendants a thousand years from now, we will write words full of “compassion”. They will be printed not on paper, but on a sheet made of plastic waste, which is said to take a thousand years to decompose. Our compassionate hearts will surely be delivered a thousand years from now. But at the same time, it means that this plastic waste will also last for a thousand years.

We may not be able to see the faces of our babies and grandchildren, but it is sure that the plastic we unconsciously use will remain in the environment for generations. If only we could be a little more aware of the existence of plastic, its use and disposal. That is what we hope for in this project.

Of course, we honestly felt uncomfortable conducting a project to raise awareness about plastic waste, even though we use so much plastic ourselves. After a lot of consideration and discussion, we decided to continue with this project as a way of reminding ourselves to do better and solve our problem of using too much plastic.

327 letters from 22 countries

The project was initiated by Ki Saigon–the planner and Pizza 4P’s–the sponsor of the project. Each employee of each company was allowed to send “invitations” to up to five people per person, the people that they themselves truly cared about.

The employees of Ki Saigon and Pizza 4P’s, as well as those who received the invitation, then wrote their letters to the millennium on a sheet of white A4 paper. A few months later, we had a total of 327 letters from 22 different countries (Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Israel, Japan, Korea, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tibet, USA, and Vietnam).

From Japan, Mr. Sakamoto, owner-chef of the Italian restaurant Cenci in Kyoto, which has been ranked in the top 100 of “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants”, and Mr. Imai, owner-chef of the wood-fired oven restaurant Monk, also located in Kyoto.

Plastic waste was collected by Ki Saigon and Pizza 4P’s respectively. Ki Saigon worked with waste pickers in Ho Chi Minh City to collect plastic waste from the streets, while Pizza 4P’s sorted plastic waste from their stores.

The collected plastic waste was washed and dried. After that, they were stacked in sheets and ironed on top of the cooking paper to glue them together. In this way, the plastic waste was transformed into colorful and beautiful sheets.

The 327 letters were scanned one by one, and using a silk screen, the handwritten letters were transferred directly onto sheets made from plastic waste.

The completed letters were stacked one on top of the other and compiled into several books.

Let’s write a letter to the future

This project literally combined the positive emotion of writing a letter to the future and the inexplicably negative reality of plastic waste into one piece.

If you have a chance, why don’t you write a letter to your descendants a thousand years from now? Relax in a quiet room and think of your descendants. It’s just a letter, but it will surely give you a warm feeling.

At the same time, it is an undeniable fact that plastic will last for a thousand years. It would be a blessing for us, the organizers of this project, if more people can become aware of this fact through this project. As a company, we still use plastic and we would like to change this situation one step at a time by making our own efforts to be aware of this fact.

Letters to the Future website:

Letters to the Future making video: Making of Letter to the future