〒180-0006 東京都武蔵野市中町2-3-5 IIHA武蔵野1階
Dear MEL Topic Readers,
South Korea: From food wasters to recyclers
Food wasting to recycling, easy to say but difficult to implement. It requires strict regulations by the governments and continuous support by the citizens and businesses.
In South Korea, everyone is required to separate the food waste from the garbage by law. The garbage will then be collected with a fee. Once collected, some food waste is sent for composting, turned into biofuel, or dried and powdered to feed chickens. This recycling practice has been put in place for nearly three decades. This is a significant change before 1997 when most of the food waste was dumped into landfills, which caused unbearable odor and environmental nightmare. It took the government over 15 years to expand treatment facilities and educate people to build today’s food recycling society. In fact, it was 2013 when food waste became a part of a pay-as-you-throw system. Now, people use either the standard pre-paid plastic bags or a machine that automatically measures the weight and charges the fee to dispose of their food waste. Whichever the method might be, everyone needs to do some work and pay some money to dump their food waste, which seems to be a good incentive to reduce food waste. But such food recycling is so costly that collection fees aren’t enough to support the system. So, in order to make the food recycling system sustainable, it seems that eating habits and serving practices need to be improved to reduce food waste.
Enjoy watching the video and learn about South Korea’s food waste recycling system.