S. Korea retracts bans on disposable cups at cafes, restaurants
简介The South Korean government on Tuesday announced the withdrawal of a ban on disposable paper cups fo ...
The South Korean government on Tuesday announced the withdrawal of a ban on disposable paper cups for food service businesses such as cafes and restaurants, along with provisional approval for the use of plastic straws at cafes and plastic bags at convenience stores.
The Environment Ministry's announcement came as the grace period for the policy was coming to an end.
A ban on single-use products, including paper cups, plastic straws and stirring sticks, was part of disposable product regulations that took effect on Nov. 24 last year, with a one-year grace period. A fine of up to 3 million won ($2,290) would have been imposed for violations after the end of the grace period.
As for plastic straws and stirring sticks, the grace period will be extended indefinitely, until further announcement.
Furthermore, the ministry emphasized its commitment to nurturing a cultural shift toward the voluntary adoption of alternatives to plastic bags, including biodegradable bags, reusable shopping bags and standard plastic garbage bags, instead of the imposition of fines.
The Environment Ministry clarified that its decision was rooted in consideration of hardships faced by small business owners, particularly as they grapple with the challenges of elevated prices and high interest rates.
Speaking at a news conference, Vice Environment Minister Lim Sang-jun explained that “banning paper cups had imposed the burden of hiring additional personnel to wash reusable cups or installing washing machines,” adding that South Korea is the only country that regulates the use of paper cups.
"It is not the government's duty to impose another burden on small business owners and self-employed people when they are already suffering from difficult economic conditions," Lim told reporters during the briefing.
The Environment Ministry also pointed out that paper straws, an alternative to plastic straws, are 2 1/2 times more expensive but have lower consumer satisfaction.
“The use of plastic straws and stirring bars will be banned when the quality of replacement products is improved and the prices stabilize,” said Lee, without clarifying a specific time frame.
Although the ministry claims it has considered various situations, including the economic burden on consumers, criticism of the massive retreat on eco-friendly policies seems inevitable.
As an example, the ministry recommended a more rigorous separation of paper cups for improved recycling efficiency as a means to mitigate repercussions of the policy reversal. Nevertheless, the ministry did not provide specific strategies to incentivize the separation of waste.
Some commenters have speculated the move was intended to attract more votes in the general elections in April next year.
An online threat claiming a bomb had been sent to Yonsei University in Seoul sparked a midnight scra ...
People traveling from Incheon to Seoul by bus will be able to use an unlimited monthly transit pass ...
Everland's popular panda, Fubao, has been banned from going out after trying to escape.It was r ...
- Merger of Korean OTT platforms Tving and Wavve imminent: sources
- LG celebrates 1st baseball championship in 29 years with discounts
- Experts to discuss globalized risks at World Health City Forum
- SM to launch boy group in the UK
- Bomb threat causes midnight fuss at Yonsei university
- EBS' new nature doc to explore symbiotic relationship between nature and humanity
- BIFF expands award categories beyond Asian content to global titles
- Seoul shares open higher on US gains; Israel
- [Weekender] Waiting on the North: Unified Korean dictionary project's long journey
- 'No Japan?' Korea swings from extreme rejection to selective embrace
- Seoul shares end lower amid conflict in Middle East
- Samsung, LG, Hyundai closely monitoring potential biz fallout from Israel
- 33년 경찰 경력 내세워…“안심구청장 누구입니까”
- IMF maintains 2023 growth outlook for S. Korea at 1.4 pct
- Seoul shares close tad higher ahead of key US jobs data
- For esports fans, more activities await beyond LoL matches
- EcoPro seeks big leap as global battery materials maker
- Samsung unveils next
- Corporate direct financing jumps nearly 40% in September
- Employment in manufacturing sector in Q3 falls at fastest pace in 11 quarters
- 43 films to premiere at Seoul International Pride Film Festival
- Celltrion merger plan approved by shareholders
- NewJeans, Ive win first national culture merit
- GS Group, SNU to run incubator program for startups
- Hyundai Elevator wins Good Design Award 2023
- 'Seventeenth Heaven' logs record
- [KH Explains] Tesla ditching its premium strategy?
- [Herald Review] Stray Kids perform new standard of '5
- Geopolitical risks hold back South Korea's credit rating upgrade:Fitch
- Seoul shares open almost flat amid geopolitical tensions, rate woes
- Year after deadly crowd crush, victims, families yet to leave it behind
- [Weekender] Indie bookstores thrive in reading
- Savor the irresistible taste of tteokbokki
- [Herald Interview] Sustainability offers practical help to industries
- KT to cooperate with Thai telecom firm to create Thai language AI service
- S. Korea expresses gratitude to Japan for assisting return of Koreans from war