S. Korea to require cafes, fast-food chains to ask for deposits for disposable cups to promote recycling
South Korea will require a deposit between 200 won and 500 won per drink in a disposable cup purchased at coffee shops and fast-food chains starting on June 10.
The purchaser will get back the deposit upon return of the used cups to the stores for recycling.
The environment ministry noted that the requirement is part of efforts to reduce plastic waste spiking amid the pandemic.
Around 38,000 cafes and fast-food restaurants across South Korea are covered by the rule under the government’s decision to apply the system to firms with more than 100 branches.
Eateries will be banned from using disposable cups at stores and are encouraged to reuse items for deliveries.
Starting November 24, big stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, and bakeries will be prohibited from using plastic bags.
The measures are part of South Korea’s effort to achieve carbon neutrality and move toward a sustainable circular economy.