SEOUL, March 20 (Korea Bizwire) — The Seoul city government will launch a waste reduction program this year, giving a discount of 400 won (US$0.3) to consumers who buy beverages in reusable personal cups at cafes, officials said Monday.
The program is intended to encourage cafe-goers to use personal tumblers, instead of disposable cups, to take away cafe beverages, and the city seeks to cut the use of single-use cups by 10 million this year through the scheme, the officials said.
Under the program to be launched in the first half of this year, consumers will be given a 400-won discount for every cafe beverage they buy in personal cups.
Of the discount amount, half will be financed by the city government, while the other half will be shouldered by cafes.
The city will pilot the program for three months with a group of small-size cafes before determining whether to expand it as a permanent program. A budget of 100 million won has been set aside for the program.
In a related waste reduction scheme, the city will also finance a separate program dealing with collecting, washing and redistributing reusable tableware to encourage restaurants, funeral service operators and festival organizers to adopt reusable tableware for food services.
“Use of single-use plastic containers increased steeply over the past two years due mainly to COVID-19 prevention reasons,” a city official said.
“The city will push for various policies so that using personal tumblers, multiuse cups and containers becomes as natural as breathing in both private and public sectors.”