SEOUL, Aug. 28 (Korea Bizwire) — Packaging made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), colored bottles, and labels on bottles that use common adhesive, all of which are difficult to recycle, will be banned.
The Ministry of Environment announced on Wednesday that new legislation related to resource circulation will soon take effect on December 25.
PVC, when mixed with other synthetic resins during recycling, drops in durability and creates hydrogen chloride and other harmful chemical emissions during recycling.
Production of PVC packaging in South Korea reached 4,589 tons in 2017. This type of packaging is commonly used as wrapping material for food and other kinds of goods.
The government, however, will make special exemptions and allow the use of PVC in packaging for certain designated products, including medicines that are directly linked to health and safety, hams and sausages that are kept at room temperature, and fish and meat that are moist.
Colored bottles and labels that use common adhesives will also be banned since they are difficult to be recycled.
Plastic bottles that are colorless, with labels that are easily detachable, are best for easy recycling.
The new policy will first enter effect for bottled water and refreshments that comprise 67 percent (192,000 tons) of all production of plastic bottles in 2017 (286,000 tons).
Items on the list of banned products will be subject to correction, and those that fail to improve within one year after notification will either be banned or subjected to fines of up to 1 billion won (US$824,000).
The ministry plans to convene an expert committee every two years to update the list of banned or exempted products.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)