No plans for expansion in other regions… Criticism of ‘de facto enforcement cancellation’
‘Return to Cup Company A to Company B’ Not at this time… The deposit amount is maintained at 300 won.
The Ministry of Environment has decided to implement the disposable cup deposit system only partially in Sejong and Jeju from December.
The deposit amount was kept at 300 won, but it was decided not to carry out the so-called ‘cross-return’ of returning franchise A’s disposable cups to franchise B’s store.
In order to reduce the use of disposable products, it was originally planned to be implemented in June this year, but due to opposition from cafe owners, it was postponed until the end of this year.
◇ ‘Partial enforcement’ in Sejong and Jeju… I don’t even have plans to set up a schedule for other regions
The Ministry of Environment announced on the 23rd that it would implement the disposable cup deposit system only in Sejong and Jeju on December 2nd.
The implementation date of the system, which was decided two years ago, was postponed from June this year to December this year due to opposition from franchisees of food and beverage franchises, and the area of operation was also very limited.
The disposable cup deposit system is a system where ‘a franchise shop with more than a certain number of franchisees must pay a deposit along with the price of the drink to receive drinks in disposable cups, and return the deposit when returning the cups’.
The aim is to increase the recycling rate of disposable cups, which are consumed by billions a year in cafes, and ultimately reduce the amount used.
The system’s original implementation date was June 10.
However, as franchisees of small and medium-sized food and beverage franchises, which mainly operate takeout, protested that they would bear the burden caused by the system, and politicians added to it, the Ministry of the Environment postponed the date enforced by. six months due to Corona 19.
The Ministry of Environment explained that the reason for implementing the deposit system only in Sejong and Jeju was that “It was important to create a successful case because this is the first system implemented in Korea in the world.”
According to statistics on franchise franchise from Statistics Korea, Sejong (310) and Jeju-do are among the 43,115 franchises (43,115 as of 2020) belonging to the bakery, ‘coffee and other non-alcoholic beverage shops’ business, and ‘pizza, hamburger businesses, sandwiches and similar restaurants’ (541) only 2% are traders.
The reduction in the area where the system is operated is sudden.
The disposable cup deposit system was introduced with the review of the Resource Recycling Act in June 2020, and its enforcement was postponed until June this year.
The Ministry of the Environment prepared an action plan for about two years in accordance with the enforcement date set in the by-laws on 10 June this year, and of course, the action area was set throughout the country.
Then, the implementation of the deposit system was postponed, and on June 28, the Ministry of Environment announced the interim results of discussions with stakeholders and said, “We will consider a plan to gradually expand (eligible target) based on region, store, and area. ” It was first suggested that it might not be enforced.
For the last two years, in preparation for a national implementation, the implementation was postponed and the views of stakeholders were gathered.
In the budget for next year announced on the 30th of last month, the Ministry of Environment arranged 8.75 billion won to install unmanned cup collection machines in 1,500 places, including 500 public places such as subway stations and KTX stations, for the disposable cup deposit system.
This was also the precedent for ‘enforcement throughout the country’.
The Ministry of Environment did not suggest when the deposit system will be implemented in areas other than Sejong and Jeju, or when a schedule will be prepared.
For this reason, it is also noted that the operation of the deposit system has effectively been cancelled.
Jeong Seon-hwa, director of the Environment Ministry’s Office of Resource Circulation, said in a briefing the previous day, “Sejong and Jeju are leading regions, and we will evaluate the performance here and draw up a plan to expand it in stages ( to other regions).”
However, he did not reveal how and when the performance evaluation will be conducted, saying, “Local governments need to be consulted.”
◇ Hold a deposit of 300 won… The subject can be ‘changed’, and cross-return is not ‘for once’
The Ministry of Environment said that the deposit amount for disposable cups is kept at 300 won, but the subject of the deposit system may change.
According to the Enforcement Decree of the Resource Recycling Act, the deposit system applies to ‘coffee, beverage, bakery and fast food franchises with more than 100 franchisees’ and ‘restaurant business with 100 or more stores, general restaurant business , bakery business’ , etc. It is the business that decides
In the notice published earlier this year by the Ministry of the Environment, ’79 businesses and 105 brands’ were designated as targets.
Director General Jeong said, “The intention is to apply it as announced,” but “there is a possibility that it will change as opinions are gathered through additional legislation.”
The Ministry of Environment intends to give an administrative notice again this month of the notice of designation of the deposit system.
We changed our plan not to ‘cross-return’.
The shop owners strongly objected, saying they could not even process cups from other shops.
At the start of the implementation of the deposit system, the Ministry of Environment announced that the shop will return disposable cups from the same franchise even if the shop does not sell disposable cups with drinks, but shops from the type receiving other franchise cups. .
The Environment Ministry’s target recovery rate is 90%, but as disposable cups are used to take drinks to other places outside the shop, the recovery rate can drop sharply if cross-return is not achieved.
Disposable cups are often incinerated when thrown away with other household waste, but when collected separately, they can be more usefully recycled, such as high quality toilet paper.
The Ministry of Environment subsidizes the cost of purchasing barcode labels attached to disposable cups (6.99 won per piece), deposit card fees (3 won per piece), and processing costs (4 won per piece) by use standard containers that are easy to use. recycling in shops subject to the deposit system
However, the Ministry of Environment said that such support is ‘for Sejong and Jeju’ and “I believe that it will not be applied as it is when the area where the deposit system is implemented is expanded , and will be confirmed through consultation with stakeholders.”
◇ Before implementing the system, there is only confusion… The policy of disposable products recedes again and again
About 25 billion disposable cups are imported and produced in Korea, including those used in cafes.
It is estimated that the amount consumed by franchise stores is 2.8 billion units per year.
The use of disposable cups has increased due to COVID-19. Last year, 1.02 billion disposable cups were used in 18 large coffee shops and fast food franchises, the highest in the last five years. time is high.
However, in the first half of this year, disposable cups recovered from each store accounted for only 16% of the amount used.
There is an urgent need to reduce the use of disposable cups, but the Ministry of Environment is preparing for the implementation of the deposit system, revealing only difficulties.
Previously, franchisees claimed that they had the opportunity to express their views to the Ministry of the Environment only one month before the implementation date of the original deposit system.
In order to increase the recovery rate of cups, unmanned collectors need to be supplied, but no collectors have yet come out that meet the performance suggested by the government.
This is not the first time that the Ministry of the Environment has withdrawn its one-time policy.
Due to COVID-19, the use of disposable products in the food service industry was temporarily allowed on January 5, but was banned again on April 1.
However, as the Ministry of Environment asks all local governments to postpone the imposition of fines of up to 3 million won, fines are not imposed.
Ahn Cheol-soo, chairman of the Presidential Transition Committee at the time, spoke of ‘suspending regulations on disposable cups’ and then delaying the imposition of fines.