SEOUL, Dec. 14 (Korea Bizwire) – Following criticism and hygienic concerns, wastebaskets in public bathroom stalls will disappear in South Korea from next year.
The Ministry of the Interior and Safety announced a new enforcement ordinance on Wednesday, which will bring a number of changes to public restrooms from next month, including a ban on trash bins in stalls and the installation of more barriers between urinals.
The new move comes after criticism against the trash bins for causing foul smells and attracting harmful insects.
Without a trash can next to the toilet, people will be expected to flush used toilet paper.
In addition, sanitary bins will be installed in women’s washrooms for disposing of used female hygiene products.
Signs will be put up when female cleaners enter men’s bathrooms, as well as when male workers clean female bathrooms, as part of efforts to respect privacy and make public toilets a more comfortable and safer place.
From next year, new public restrooms will be designed in such a way that the inside can’t be seen from the outside from the doorway.
New male restrooms will all be equipped with barriers between urinals for further privacy.
“We hope other privately owned restrooms catch up with the newly introduced changes such as public restrooms without toilet trash bins, signs for cleaners of a different sex, more enclosed restroom designs, and barriers between urinals,” said Yoon Jong-in, a senior official at the Ministry of the Interior and Safety.
Public toilet waste bins have been a controversial topic, particularly among foreign nationals in South Korea, with many seeing a bin full of used toilet papers as unpleasant and unhygienic.
While the decision by the interior ministry to do away with trash bins in public washroom stalls has been met with online support, some expressed concern over ill-mannered people who might attempt to flush non-biodegradable objects down the toilet.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)