S. Korea to Ban Disposable Plastic Bags From all Supermarkets

Published January 3rd, 2019 - 02:00 GMT

South Korea is to ban disposable plastic bags from all supermarkets, it has emerged.

The country's Ministry of Environment said the crackdown on single-use carriers was aimed at conserving natural resources and managing recyclable waste.

Some 2,000 large supermarkets and 11,000 shops with sale floor spaces of 1,776ft or more will be affected by the ban, which comes into force tomorrow.

They are already barred from giving out plastic bags for free.


But the new rules will mean single-use bags will now be outlawed - except for wet goods such as meat or fish, CNN reports.

Anyone caught flouting the rule could face a fine of up to three million won (£2,120).

Customers will be offered alternatives, like cloth and paper bags instead.

Officials are probing crackdowns on other products, including plastic drinking straws.

It comes after ministers in Britain launched a consultation on plans to double the charge for single-use carrier bags in England from 2020 and extend the scheme to cover all shops in a bid to cut plastic waste.

Since October 2015, large retailers in England have been legally required to impose a charge of 5 pence for plastic bags, a measure which the government says has taken 15 billion bags out of circulation.

However, Britain's seven largest supermarkets still supplied about 1 billion bags with smaller shops supplying another 3.6 billion.

In August, the government announced plans to extend the charge to all retailers and increase the minimum price to 10p from the beginning of 2020 and on Thursday launched a consultation on its proposals.

'We would like to see an overall reduction by 90 percent on figures ... before the levy,' junior environment minister Therese Coffey told BBC radio.

The Marine Conservation Society says since the charge was brought in, there had been a significant fall in the number of bags found on beaches.


This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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