S.Korean cafes, restaurants to be banned from using disposable items


Cafes and restaurants across South Korea will be banned from using disposable products starting next year to reduce plastic waste spiking amid the pandemic, the Environment Ministry said on Friday.

The Ministry has recently put up an administrative notice that a revised law prohibiting the use of disposable items, such as paper cups and plastic straws, inside cafes, fast food chains and other restaurants will go into effect in January, or next month at the earliest, reports Yonhap News Agency

The government had initially banned plastic use by law in August 2018 but added an enforcement decree to the law after the Covid-19 pandemic broke out to temporarily allow the use of disposable items due to concerns over virus transmissions through multiuse items.

The Ministry said the decree was recently deleted to deal with waste problems as the use of disposable products surged amid the pandemic.

Under the new revision, cafes and eateries could face fines according to the frequency of violation of the plastic-ban policy and the size of their stores.