South Korea will ban large-time supermarkets and national retailers from using disposable plastic bags in an effort to conserve natural resources and reduce recycled waste, government officials said Monday.
The ban will take effect on Tuesday as part of a revised law on the conservation of resources and encourages the reuse of recyclable waste.
Subject to the ban are 2,000 major discount chain outlets and 11,000 supermarkets with sales spaces of 165 square meters or more where distributing free plastic bags is currently prohibited.
Shops that violate the ban can face fines of up to 3 million won (around $ 2,683). Instead, these stores are required to offer customers recyclable containers, cloth shopping bags or paper bags.
Plastic containers for wet goods, such as meat and fish, will still be used.
Under the revised law, 18,000 national bakeries will be banned from distributing free disposable plastic bags.
In collaboration with the local government, the Ministry of Environment plans to encourage affected stores to comply with the ban from January to March.
The ministry also pushed ahead with plans to reduce the use of plastic clothing bags in laundry shops. (Yonhap)