SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, February 27, 2019 — The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced that it will cooperate with the United Arab Emirates Government to share policy experiences requested by the UAE government, as they had been deeply impressed by the Seoul Upcycling Plaza. The Seoul Upcycling Plaza is the world’s first complex space where the entire process of “upcycling” is made one-stop, from material donation and collection to processing, product production and sales.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government has signed a contract with the United Arab Emirates Government on “the case and application of waste recycling policies” at Cheongwadae, or the Korean Presidential Office, at 11:50 a.m. on Wednesday, February 27. The Mayor of Seoul, Park Won-Soon, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, and other officials from each country attended the event.
The Agreement was made based on the UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment’s previous visit to the facility last October, where the visiting officials expressed their request of sharing Seoul’s knowledge and experience. The UAE has been paying attention to the “establishment of a resource cycling system” as one of the governmental agendas.
The Seoul Upcycling Plaza is an upcycle complex based on citizens’ participation, opened in September 2017 in Yongdap-dong, Seoul. It is run by the Seoul Design Foundation, aiming at revolutionizing Seoul’s resource circulation products and services through the design. It is now becoming a multi-cultural space where one can witness the process from recycle to upcycle, and also a supporter of upcycling companies. Since its opening, the Seoul Upcycling Plaza has recycled 5,200 tons of apparel and daily necessities annually and has been making them reused by the citizens or providing them as recycling materials for companies. The Seoul Upcycling Plaza, with less than 2 years of history, was able to make great achievements economically, socially and culturally in terms of upcycle product sales and civic education, because it is a complex facility and space that can provide the collection and classification of recycled products, the processing and provision of materials, as well as promoting upcycling businesses and citizen education programs.
The Seoul Upcycling Plaza is also benchmarked by government agencies and companies overseas. Emerging developing countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines visited the Plaza to systematically solve the rapidly growing waste problem as well as to encourage citizen participation. In September 2019, the Seoul International Upcycle Festival will be held to showcase the products and services related to the resource circulation of domestic and foreign companies, as well as to exchange the upcycling know-hows of various countries and their networks.