Go to contents

South Korea to phase out plastic straws by 2027

Posted September. 05, 2018 07:25,   

Updated September. 05, 2018 07:25


South Korea will phase out single-use cups and plastic straws at restaurants by 2027. Excessive packaging at large retailers will also be banned by law.

The government on Tuesday announced the first “Resource Circulation Master Plan,” which includes the above ban on the use of plastics. The master plan aims to reduce waste generation compared to GDP by 20 percent and increase the actual recycling rate (resource circulation rate), which currently is at around 70 percent, up to 82 percent.

The purpose of the ban is to gradually reduce the waste generated in our daily lives by gradually banning disposable products by 2027. Plastic cups are currently banned at stores and plastic straws and paper cups will be phased out in stages. The Ministry of Environment said it would set out the details of the ban by taking into account market conditions, such as if there are multi-use goods to replace disposable products.

As for excessive packaging, particularly preval‎ent in delivery services, a new standard, such as of the number of packaging per a parcel and space ratio, will be established and the use of eco-friendly packing materials will be recommended. Superfluous packaging at large retailers is currently regulated on the basis of voluntary agreement, but will be regulated by law starting from next year.

Chul-Jung Kim tnf@donga.com