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Plastic-free shopping: S. Korea attempts to go zero-waste Updated: 2020-10-30 10:10:04 KST

Environmental concerns have many consumers these days turning to the zero waste movement, which seeks to eliminate waste by reducing, reusing and recycling.
The goal is for no trash to be sent to landfills and incinerators or littered.
The movement is not new, but it's gaining interest among South Korean shoppers.

"I don't know much about it yet, but I like the idea that we can buy things without using plastic bags. I'm going to look around a bit more and buy things that are eco-friendly."

At a zero-waste store, there's no plastic packaging at all.
You go around, pick up pantry staples or organic products you need, and put them in a bag or resuable container. There, your shopping ends plastic-free, creating no waste.

Demand for plastic-free shopping can also be seen at the big retail stores, which these days offer eco-friendly packaging.

"This shop uses packaging made from corn starch, an organic material that is environmentally friendly. This biodegradable packaging allows customers to move away from plastics."

At another store, there's a place to refill laundry detergent and fabric softeners.
This not only contributes to low-waste living, it also saves customers a few pennies on the cost of packaging.

More shops are going zero waste, but it's still a challenge.

"It is important to have more zero-waste shops, but what needs to come first is support for these stores either in the form of policies or infrastructure."

It can be hard to resist the convenience of plastics and disposable things, but zero-waste living is something we can all feel good about taking part in.
Min Suk-hyen, Arirang News.
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