SEOUL, June 23 (Korea Bizwire) — Recycled transparent plastic bottles have been reborn as various high-quality products, such as clothing, bags and cosmetic bottles, under the government’s new waste recycling policy, the Ministry of Environment said Tuesday.
Under the recycling policy that went into effect in February this year, discarded transparent plastic bottles have been separately collected from apartment and public garbage dumps in Seoul, Busan and Jeju Province to be recycled into high-quality consumer products through collaboration with local companies, the ministry said.
Previously, waste plastic bottles used in South Korea to produce clothes and other products were all imported from abroad. Only 10 percent of old plastic bottles collected locally were recycled into high-quality consumer products.
Complying with the new government policy, companies, such as Pleatsmama and Hyosung T&C, have made knitted garments and bags from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles collected from Jeju Island, the ministry said.
SMT Chemical has produced cosmetic bottles with transparent PET bottles collected separately from garbage dumps in Cheonan, about 100 kilometers south of Seoul, it noted.
PET bottles collected by mineral water producer Sparkle from across the nation have been used by Black Yak, Kolon F&C and TK Chemical to produce functional clothing, it added.
The ministry said it will expand the scope of the new PET bottle recycling policy to include all apartment complexes nationwide, beginning in December this year.
PET bottle makers are also obliged to additionally display guidance on how to separate and put out discarded plastic bottles on their products from the second half of this year.
The government will also increase the number of consumer products made from recycled transparent plastic bottles and extend support to companies participating in the waste recycling projects, the ministry explained.