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How are Korean hypermarkets solving the disposable plastic problem?

Why have the 3 major plastic reduction efforts of E-Mart, Lotte Mart, and Home Plus Mart been released on the Gwanghwamun billboard?

'Disposable plastic packaging problems can be solved by hypermarkets.'

Many people want to practice conserving the environment by using tumblers and eco bags, but these efforts have become a bubble in hypermarkets, where you have to buy everything wrapped in disposable packaging.

Consumers tried hard enough. It's time for companies to change. Disposable plastic packaging, which accounts for 40% of the total plastics production, is used for the shortest amount of time and is thrown away, polluting the planet.

If the hypermarket eliminates disposable plastic packaging that is easily used and discarded, it will dramatically reduce the amount of plastic waste.

'The consumer wants a grocery-free shopping!'

The disappearance of disposable plastic packaging in hypermarkets is good news for consumers. According to a consumer awareness report released last December by Greenpeace, 65.6% of consumers said they were experiencing inconvenience in disposing of the packaging. Until now, consumers had no choice but to buy goods packaged in disposable packaging at hypermarkets. It is entirely up to the consumer to dispose of the single-use plastic packaging of the purchased product by separate collection, although piles of disposable packaging are incinerated and rarely recycled (Greenpeace Report Plastics Korea).

'Our country's big supermarkets are disappointing in their efforts to solve plastic problems.'

Waitrose Limited, a British supermarket

Overseas major hypermarkets are deciding to reduce the use of disposable plastic packaging materials and try out various solutions using piloting stores with alternative models. In contrast, most of the big marts in Korea are using disposable packaging indiscriminately without managing the type or amount of disposable plastic packaging materials consumed in stores.

On February 26, 2020, Greenpeace researched the current status of efforts to reduce disposable plastics and published a report on the distribution of disposable plastics in Korea. Korea's top five retailers (E-Mart, Home Plus, Lotte Mart, Mega Mart, Nonghyup Hanaro Mart) It included information about the 'efforts to reduce disposable plastics in stores,' 'reduction efforts through collaboration with PB products and suppliers,' and 'consumer participation.'

The survey was conducted based on the company's reduction efforts. Only one place received a C, but the rest of the big marts had to receive an F. Which mart received a better score? And why did the rest of the marts get F?

For more information, check out the 'Korea Domestic Mart Disposable Plastic Distribution Report' published by Greenpeace. In order to reduce disposable plastics, Korea's hypermarkets will need active efforts and commitment.

We ask for your continued interest and participation to help consumers keep their right to not buy disposable plastics, and to help supermarkets reduce their use of disposable plastics.


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