Many people who are sympathetic to the plight of plastics are making efforts to reduce plastics in everyday life. However, there are too many plastics to solve problems with individual practice. The 2565 readers who participated in the 'Plastic Road' pointed out that 'consumer choice' must be guaranteed to live free from plastic.
"Good store expedition" consisting of 32 citizens
Greenpeace, an international environmental group, took the initiative to draw out the 'plastic-free' store and draw maps on the issue. For three weeks from March 23 to April 13, 32 citizens sold goods without plastic containers or packaging under the name of "Good Store Fellowship," and found grocery stores in Seoul to give consumers a choice. "It was merely hopeless," Lee Shin Ae (42) who participated in the expedition said, "It was not easy to find a plastic-free store. I searched and tried to go around the whole traditional market," he said.
On May 28, Greenpeace unveiled a map titled "No Plastic Map" that contains the name and location information of 21 stores in Seoul. The map displayed on the map was a "choice," markets, that had sold products without plastic wrapping than ones with plastic wrapping. It was also a place where consumers can buy things easily if they carried a cloth bag or an empty container. One fruit shop sold fruits only after removing the plastic wrap, even with the individual fruits covered in vinyl delivered to the small store. The owner of the store said, "There is no more land for vinyl in our country. There are some independence activists who sacrificed their lives to save the country, but is not using plastics such great deal of work?"
Reducing the use of plastic bags, the beginning of change
Many shop owners have told the expedition that government regulation is very important. As the government regulates the use of vinyl in large - format stores, fewer people are asking for plastic bags in small shops and traditional markets. Lee Shin-ae said, "Since there is a compulsory government regulation, consumers and producers are also beginning to change."
You can find more information on 'No Plastics' at Greenpeace Forum (www.greenpeace.org/korea).