South Korea: Stools ban plastic bags and restaurants ban paper cups

  • 2022-11-24
South Korea's Environment Ministry said Monday it will ban the sale of plastic bags in convenience stores and the use of plastic straws, disposable cutlery and cups in restaurants and other establishments from Nov. 24. However, violators of the new rules will not be penalized for a transitional period of one year.

South Korea has banned the sale of disposable plastic bags in shopping malls with a floor area of at least 3,000 square meters and supermarkets with a floor area of at least 165 square meters since 2019. It is the first time in nearly four years that South Korea has expanded the plastic ban to include more retail outlets such as convenience stores and cake shops.

Previously, all convenience stores in South Korea stopped offering plastic bags for free and instead offered them to customers for a fee of about 100 won each.

According to the new rules, department stores and other large shops will ban plastic covers for disposable umbrellas that prevent water from dripping from April 24. Disposable utensils such as paper cups, plastic straws and plastic stirring rods will be banned in restaurants and canteens. Plastic cheering equipment will be banned in sports facilities.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the Environment Ministry decided early this month to extend the plastic ban for one year to "ease the burden on store operators." Some convenience store chains began preparing for an upgrade last month.

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