Korea to Introduce Charge for Disposable Cups

  • By Sun Jung-min

    February 16, 2021 11:16

    Korea will introduce charges for disposable cups in coffee franchises, bakeries and fast food restaurants from June 2022 to reduce plastic waste.

    Customers will pay a few hundred won for a disposable cup and can get it back if they return their used cups (US$1=W1,103).

    The Environment Ministry announced the decision on Monday. Some 20,000 outlets of franchises like Starbucks, A Twosome Place and others with more than 100 outlets will be subject to the new regulation.

    Small coffee shops can join if they want to. The law was already revised last June and goes into effect in June next year.

    In an online poll by the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission last June, most respondents preferred a charge of between W100 and W200 per cup. A similar initiative was implemented from 2002 to 2008 and stores charged customers W50 to W100 per cup, but it was not mandatory.

    The revised law also bans the use of paper cups, plastic straws and stick stirrers for customers who consume their beverages in-store.

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