On Thursday, Starbucks Coffee Korea carried out a voluntary recall on its official giveaway picnic bags called “Summer Carry Bag (pictured)” after they were found to contain toxic chemical substance.
The Korean Agency for Technology and Standards and the Korea Consumer Agency announced Thursday that a carcinogen called formaldehyde was found in the outer cover, the lining, and the paper stiffener from the carry bags. The amounts varied – 20.0-681.0mg in the cover, 26.0-212.8mg in the lining, and 71.6 – 614.1mg in the stiffener.
Starbucks began to collect the giveaways back and offer compensation on July 22, but it changed its policy and started to recall the products on Thursday. Any business in a voluntary recall program is obliged to make a recall report to the government and get regular inspections.
From May 20, a total 1.07 million and 9,110 carry bags have been either provided or sold to Starbucks customers, and the company has recalled about 380,000 products (36%). The government issued a recommendation to stop using or keeping the carry bags immediately and follow recall instructions from the Starbucks homepage or Starbucks App.
A customer who returned the product can choose either a set of office supplies or a 30,000-won Starbucks coupon. Additionally, three free drink coupons will be provided to consumers visiting Starbucks stores to return their giveaways until October 11.