South Korea’s cafes and restaurants have reportedly received customer complaints after it banned disposable cups and dishes for diners. Establishments can’t do anything about the ban since it was the government’s order to stop the use of disposable utensils in their stores.
The South Korean government has banned plastic cups in fast food outlets, and the policy went into effect on Friday, April 1. According to the Korea Times, the use of disposable utensils was first banned in 2018, and the ban was lifted. in 2020.
When the pandemic hit, the regulations were reinstated to stop the spread of COVID-19. The government eased the restriction a few months later, but the Ministry of Environment now imposes the same rule with the same rigor when implementing it, as the country’s government believes that the COVID situation will soon enter the phase. endemic.
“People have gotten used to using plastic cups again over the past couple of years and I understand that many still feel uncomfortable drinking drinks from a cup, which many people share in the cafes and restaurants,” said a cafe owner identified only by her last name, Jeon. in a report. “However, I can’t do anything against government policy, but people keep asking me if they can just use a plastic cup because they’re leaving in five minutes.”
There are also locals who believe that restricting the use of plastic cups is not effective as the ban is only enforced in South Korea. They say this because eliminating disposables is part of the effort to help save the environment.
“The government encourages people to use personal cups, but they are also made from plastic,” said another customer. “I don’t know how Korea alone banning plastic cups can help improve environmental protection.”
Meanwhile, the Korea Herald previously reported that the country has again banned single-use plastic cups. The Environment Ministry ordered restaurants and cafes to follow and containers, plastic cups, toothpicks and wooden chopsticks were not allowed, even in bars and food stalls. This recent ban was announced last week.