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South Korea Bans Disposable Coffee Cups, Plastic Bags

South Korea has kicked off a campaign to reduce disposable coffee cups in an effort to curb plastic use.

The Ministry of Environment announced a campaign to curb the use of single-use cups at coffee shops. It also bans plastic bags at supermarkets and bakeries, starting this month.

As part of the campaign, the ministry started sending officials on Thursday to local coffee shops to inspect the use of disposable cups and encourage shop owners and customers to use reusable cups.

Shop owners, found to frequently use disposable cups, can be fined up to 2 million won ($1,780).

The ministry also bans plastic bags at supermarkets and bakeries.

A ministry research found that more than 230 million plastic bags are used annually at major franchise bakeries.

Such a ban on plastic bags and disposable cups comes after major recycling agencies rejected plastics, citing a high cost to process them. It has caused confusion over the country’s recycling scheme for plastics.

The government also announced it would raise financial support for recycling firms by 1.7 billion won ($1.5 million).



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