Government green campaign reactivated to kick out disposable cups in Jeju

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : June 2, 2021, 17:29 | Updated : June 2, 2021, 17:29

[Courtesy of the Ministry of Environment]

SEOUL -- Starbucks will join a government green campaign to kick out disposable cups on South Korea's southern resort island of Jeju. The campaign began in 2018 when coffee shops in Seoul were ordered to provide mug cups or renewable cups for customers drinking inside. However, the ban was lifted temporarily in 2020 due to a COVID-19 pandemic.

The environment ministry signed a cooperation agreement with Jeju Island, Korea Airports Corporation, Starbucks, SK Telecom (SKT), CJ Logistics and Happy Connect to roll out a disposable cup-free demonstration at four selected Starbucks stores in Jeju. The initial target is to save some 16,000 disposable cups every month.

"Starting with disposable cup-free stores, we hope that the recycling culture settles into our everyday lives and into the society," Environment Minister Han Jeoung-ae said in a statement on June 2. The demonstration will begin on July 6 and more Jeju Starbucks stores will participate later.

When customers visit selected Starbucks stores, they can pay 1,000 won ($0.9) as a deposit for a reusable cup. Customers will be refunded when they return cups to collecting machines located at Starbucks stores and Jeju International Airport. SKT will develop and install cup collecting machines and Happy Connect, a charity foundation, will clean retrieved cups for reuse.

CJ Logistics, a major parcel delivery company, will deliver cleaned cups to stores using electric delivery vans. When the campaign is adopted by all 26 Starbucks stores in Jeju, about five million cups will be saved annually, the ministry said.
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