Industry News

Disposable paper cup use in South Korea mounts during the pandemic

Author : world coffee portal
Update time : 2022-11-08 17:10:01
  The number of disposable paper cups sold across 14 café chains and four fast-food restaurants in South Korea has increased by 30% since the start of the pandemic, as the country’s hospitality businesses prepare for a new deposit scheme in December 2022.

  Of the single-use paper cups consumed in 2021, only 27.5% were returned to the stores for recycling. The number of disposable cups used in South Korea surpassed one billion for the first time in 2021, according to a new report from the government’s Environment Ministry.

Disposable paper cup  The research found that 4.34 billion single-use plastic and paper cups were used at 14 café and four fast-food chains over the past five years, peaking at 1.02 billion last year. The average yearly consumption of disposable cups at the same outlets was 784.8 million pre-pandemic.

  Of the single-use paper cups consumed during the period, only 27.5%, or 238.57 million cups, were returned to the stores for recycling. The Environment Ministry has stressed the need for more ‘concrete’ measures to improve public awareness about reducing disposable cup use.

  As such, the government body will launch a new deposit system in December 2022 that will see franchise brands with more than 100 stores impose an additional 300 won ($0.22) surcharge per cup. The deposit money will be reimbursed to the consumer when the cup is returned to the store. The Environment Ministry hopes the disposable paper cup return rate will reach 90%. The scheme was controversially postponed in June 2022.

  A ban on the use of disposable items, including single-use cutlery, toothpicks and plastic tablecloths, has been in place since April 2022, although fines for violations have broadly been suspended as small businesses continue to recover from the pandemic.

  “Abrupt change in the way people use disposable products will not yield practical results. We are gradually implementing fining system and deposit system to let such custom permeate into our lives, so that neither customers and store owners do not object to this,” said Park Yong-beom, an official from Environment Ministry.

Hydepackage Eco-friendly Disposable Paper Cup with Handle Videos From YouTube
  The use of disposable paper cups in East Asia soared during the pandemic. In July 2022 environmental group Greenpeace revealed that Hong Kong residents discard approximately 400 million disposable paper cups per year, with the same charity reporting in August 2022 that nine of Japan’s major coffee chains served approximately 370 million disposable cups in 2020 alone.

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