South Korea annouced a detailed plan to reduce plastic waste and increase the use of bioplastics by 2050

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Workers sort plastic waste at a recycling center in Busan, 453 km southeast of Seoul, on Dec. 24, 2020. (Yonhap)
Workers sort plastic waste at a recycling center in Busan, 453 km southeast of Seoul, on Dec. 24, 2020. (Yonhap)

South Korea’s The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Ministry of Environment announced a plan on Dec. 30 to increase the use of mixed plastics and bioplastics and reduce the use of petroleum-based plastics.

According to the plan, 15 percent of plastics for industrial use and 20 percent of those for non-industrial use will be replaced with the alternative materials by 2030. The targets for 2050 are 45 percent and 100 percent, respectively.

Starting from next month, recyclable bioplastics with the same physical and chemical properties as petroleum-based plastics are subject to separate disposal with Bio HDPE, Bio LDPE, Bio PP and Bio PS marks.

The government is planning to prepare a legal basis for waste charge exemption regarding bioplastics with environmental labeling certification, and the exemption is scheduled for 2023. The biomass content requirement for the certification is planned to be raised from 20 percent to 50 percent from this year to 2030.

Starting from 2023, recyclable raw materials must be used by plastic manufacturers as well as paper, glass and steel manufacturers. In the case of plastic PET manufacturers, the use must reach at least 30 percent by 2030.

Source: Business Korea

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