The plastic problem, which is likely to destroy the environment and threaten public health, has emerged as a global issue in recent years. In response, the Seoul Metropolitan Government is promoting the ｢Plastic-free Seoul Master Plan｣ for the first time in Korea; its goal is ‘to reduce the total usage of disposable plastics in Seoul by half and to meet the percentage of plastic recycling to 70 percent by 2022′.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government with its districts and affiliated organizations achieved ‘Zero-level Disposable Supplies’ especially for disposable cups and plastic bags; furthermore, it will expand into the contracting-out organization in 2019 and the business place after 2020, respectively. Also, the Seoul Metropolitan Government promotes the inhibition on the usage of disposable supplies in public spaces (including parks, Hangang river, markets and festivals) and city government (or district)-sponsored events; specifically, it’ll write related articles into the new agreement including the restaurant of each facility. To do so, ‘Funeral Hall without Disposable Supplies’ test operation will be conducted on two municipal hospital funerals. In addition, the output of bottled water Arisu will decrease dramatically by one fifth of its current output; it is expected to be produced mainly for disaster relief.
The ‘Do Not Use the Top Five Disposable Supplies (cup, straw, plastic bag, delivery supply and laundry plastic)’ practice campaign will be promoted under the control of related civil groups. It is mainly designed to diffuse ‘Seoul Self-regulation Practice Agreement’ especially for plastic-guzzling businesses (including hotels, theaters and franchises) with itself. Also, the Plastic Waste Separation and Removal Day is applied to the detached house area, which was blamed for ‘the lower percentage of recyclable materials selection’ once, in each district.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government promotes ｢Plastic-free Seoul Master Plan｣ with its 5 major projects and 38 detailed tasks, as shown above; the 5 major projects include ①the non-use of disposable supplies in the public sector, ②the civic practice movement and its promotion, ③the establishment of distribution system without disposable plastics, ④the maximization to recycle used plastics and ⑤the expansion of financial support and the reform of system.
“No one alone can’t reduce disposable plastics; it takes the joint effort and cooperation of all participants (including public institutions and private enterprises) to solve this problem. So, it is important that our citizens should actively participate into this project for plastic-free Seoul”, the Seoul Metropolitan Government emphasizes.