SEOUL, Nov. 21 (Korea Bizwire) — Concerns have been raised that the government’s restrictions on the use of colored bottles and plastic bottles could lead to price hikes for liquor and cosmetics products and hinder exports as well.
The Ministry of Environment classified the revision of the Resource Recycling Act, which will take effect on December 25, as materials that are difficult to recycle except for existing colored plastic bottles, colorless bottles, brown bottles and green bottles.
If the product is graded as ‘difficult to recycle’, the government will add environmental fines of up to 30 percent to the company concerned.
The liquor and beverage industries are currently working on replacing current bottles with transparent plastic bottles. However, liquor companies that import whisky and wine, and cosmetics companies, are in a conundrum.
First of all, companies in the export countries should be persuaded to change their bottles or containers under such domestic regulations. It is highly unlikely that they will accept the world’s one and only policy.
In particular, since the import industry uses non-transparent bottles to avoid direct sunlight that could cause oxidation and degeneration, it is highly unlikely that companies will agree to change packaging to transparent bottles.
Liquor-exporting such as Chile and Australia are also protesting by submitting their opinions to the Ministry of Environment.
In particular, the U.S. and the EU reportedly conveyed their opinion to the World Trade Organization and the Trade and Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade that such regulations are effectively functioning as trade barriers.
Meanwhile, the cosmetics industry is also struggling. Like wine, using clear containers could lead to spoiling ingredients due to the external environment, such as ultraviolet radiation.
In addition, cosmetics are a major item for consumers to recognize their “brand” through packaging shapes and colors.
Nevertheless, if the color of the packaging is changed to be transparent, companies will be deprived of key marketing means as they will be limited in differentiating their offerings other than from the product name marking.
“There is practically no other way but to pay the environmental levy. Then, the costs eventually lead to price hikes, which will inevitably become a consumer burden,” an industry source said.
D. M. Park (email@example.com)