Cup deposit fee for takeout drinks to save resources – South Korea

Key points

  • Takeout beverages with new deposit fee for recyclable cups
  • Amendment will be soon after taking necessary measures
Image by Naji Habib from Pixabay

Modernization impact in takeout policy

Raising modernization hugely relied on the takeaway policy of foods, snacks, and beverages from fast-food chain restaurants, bakeries, and coffee shops. In South Korea, recent statistics exhibited a huge increase in takeaway culture. 

  • Takeaway cups - 595% increase in 11 years (2007 to 2018)
  • Fast-food chain restaurants – 872% increase in 10 years (2008 to 2018)

Meanwhile, recycling waste reduced from 37% to 5% in 9 years (2009 to 2018). The lack of awareness on recyclable materials and fast-changing routine habits ended up in recyclable materials mixing with the incinerated waste. Unfortunately increasing the greenhouse gases causing air pollution.

New act to save and recycle the resources

Ministry of Environment, South Korea decided to revise the act on the promotion of saving and recycling of resources. The revised recycling waste law, passed on June 2 confirmed the “deposit fee for recyclable takeout cups.” The returned recyclable cups will be benefited from the refund of the deposit fee.

The scheme “new deposit fee and recyclable cup” would increase the recycling waste rate and thereby reduce greenhouse gas emissions with huge annual savings.

Trailing measures and revised recycle act

  • Financial support for the recyclable cup collecting business
  • Management center to monitor the deposit fee
  • New policies to process waste more safely

The new revised recycle act highly affects daily lives in terms of money as well as the new process of returning recyclable cups to the seller. However, this act is mandatory for the goal of a better world for the new generation by saving resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Amendment of 'new deposit fee' act

Standardization of deposit fee is under process. Soon, the Govt. of South Korea will set the price based on the manufacturing costs, policies, and nationwide consultations.


Takeout drinks price to rise with new 'cup deposit fee'


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