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Korea to ban disposable cups, plastic straws by 2027

Time: 2018-11-26

The government will seek to ban disposable cups and plastic straws to reduce waste gradually by 2027.

In a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, 10 government bodies including the Ministry of Environment reported their "natural circulation" initiative, which aims to cut down urban life waste in all processes from production and consumption to management and recycling.

The plan is to eliminate disposable products from the consumption stage by 2027. The government will gradually ban disposable cups and plastic straws, which can be replaced with multi-use ones, starting at restaurants and cafes.

The government has already taken action to ban serving drinks in plastic cups at coffee shops.

Excessive packaging will be restricted for supermarkets and retailers, which will be forced to use eco-friendly materials.

By 2022, apartments have to adopt a radio frequency identification (RFID) disposal system that measures the weight of food waste and charges a cost according to the amount. The system, which has already been in effect in some regions, has helped reduce food waste by 35 percent.

The government will further expand the RFID disposal system to small restaurants by 2027.

The measures to minimize waste generation in production will also be adopted.

Some 3,500 businesses in 18 sectors, which generate a large quantity of industrial waste, will be required to set medium- and long-term goals to curtail the waste.

"Through such measures, we plan to reduce the amount of waste by 20 percent and increase the recycling rate from the current 70 percent to 82 percent by 2027," a ministry official said.