SEOUL, March 23 (Korea Bizwire) — South Koreans are using more plastic containers in the post-pandemic era than before, a report shows Wednesday.
A joint research team from Greenpeace and Chungnam National University reported the production of 11,932,000 tons of plastic waste in 2021, up by 49.5 percent from 2017.
The daily creation of “other synthetic resin waste,” a category that includes delivery food containers, reached 1,292.2 tons, up by 80.6 percent from 2019.
Moreover, each South Korean used 109 PET water bottles, 102 disposable plastic cups, 533 plastic bags, and 568 plastic containers in 2020.
Combining the four items, each South Korean threw away 1,312 pieces of plastic waste that year, which is equivalent to 19 kilograms of plastic.
Expanding the scope to yearly plastic waste creation for the entire South Korean population, some 5.3 billion plastic cups were thrown away in one year, up by 2 billion from the pre-pandemic era in 2017.
If the cups were lined up, they would extend longer than the distance between the earth and the moon by a factor of 1.5, the report said.
The report also said that the trajectory for yearly plastic waste in 2030 would reach 6,475,000 tons, which is 3.6 times higher than in 2010 and 1.5 times higher than in 2020.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)