SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, October 31, 2018 — The Seoul Metropolitan Government is the first local government in the country that declared the slogan called “Seoul Free From Disposable Plastic” on the 19th September. It is to reduce the use of plastic which keeps increasing every year. Seoul promotes the citizen-led campaigns to cut down the use of top 5 disposable plastic goods frequently used in daily lives. The five goods include plastic cups, straws, plastic bag, delivery goods and laundry plastic bags. This citizen-driven initiative is led by the Seoul city government and 4 civil groups (Eco-fem, Saemaul Women’s Association, Green Future, and Korean Woman´s Federation for Consumer).
The Seoul city government, Seoul Merchant Association, and Saemaul Women’s Association will actively run a campaign to reduce the use of plastic bags focusing on four traditional markets first. About 1.8 million plastic bags on average are used per day in traditional markets. On the 14th of October, the city government, Seoul Merchant Association, and Saemaul Women’s Association signed an MOU on the ‘Harmonious Sports Day of Traditional Markets in Seoul’ about reducing the use of plastic bags. Seoul Merchant Association and Saemaul Women’s Association have an event plan to read aloud the declaration of using less plastic bags in traditional markets, to hold an event to demonstrate, make, and distribute DIY shopper’s bags, and to run a center to collect shopping bags. They will give a free rental service of shopping bags made of recycled banners. If citizens donate their shopping bags or they borrow and return them to the center, the citizens will receive reward points (stickers). Depending on the cumulative number of stickers, they can receive recycled waste paper and so on.
The event will start in Junggok Traditional Market in Gwangjin-gu at 10:30 a.m. on the 31st (Wed) October. Hwagokbon-dong Market in Gangseo-gu will also hold the event at 3 p.m. on that day. At 2 p.m. on the 5th (Mon) of November, Gil-dong Market in Gangdong-gu and Gileum Market in Seongbuk-gu will have the recital performance of declaration and campaign events.
In addition, the Seoul city government and Green Future run a campaign to reduce the use of disposable shipping goods. Green Future already held the campaign with 500 citizens in Silver Grass Festival and WeAja Charity Flea Market. Seoul will run a campaign under a theme of “let’s refuse to use disposable spoons” in the delivery zone in Yeouido Hanggang Park every Saturday in November. The city government will give out reusable spoons to the citizens who sign a pledge to refuse the use of disposable spoons and upload their pledges on social media. Seoul will distribute magnetic bottle openers with a slogan of reducing plastic use for delivery personnel.
Meanwhile, the Seoul Metropolitan Government signed an MOU with Korea Laundry Association and Korean Woman´s Federation for Consumer. Seoul currently runs a campaign to reduce the use of laundry plastic bags. The city government plans to identify plastic-free coffee shops in Seoul by working together with Eco-fem.