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South Korea’s Strict Food Waste Program Is Paying Dividends

March 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Under South Korea’s food waste law, residents are required to separate food waste from garbage and to recycle food. Seoul used to spend $600 thousand dollars a day on food waste disposal. That money is now saved through recycling. Beginning in 2013 consumers in Seoul were required to pay for food waste by weight. The city set up a sophisticated system for tracking and weighing the waste that is placed in special bags (sold by the city) and then into bins that determine the fairly small fee to be charged. Since the law went into effect, the city’s food waste has decreased 10 percent – more than 300 tons a day. The Environmental Management Division wants to triple that amount over the next four years.
Mori Rothman et al., "These Policies Helped South Korea’s Capital Decrease Food Waste", PBS Newshour, March 19, 2017, © NewsHour Productions LLC
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