South Korea bans single-use plastic bags from major supermarkets.
South Korea is joining a growing list of countries attempting to halt the use of disposable plastic shopping bags.
Major supermarkets will be banned from using plastic bags in an effort to conserve natural resources and manage recyclable waste, South Korea’s Ministry of Environment said Monday.
The ban, which was introduced as part of an amendment to an existing law, comes into effect on Tuesday.
It affects 2,000 large supermarkets and 11,000 supermarkets with sales floor spaces of 165 square meters (1,776 square feet) or more.
Those stores are currently prohibited from providing customers with plastic bags for free. However, the new rules will bar single-use plastic bags, except to hold wet produce such as fish and meat.
Supermarkets will be required to offer customers alternatives such as cloth or paper bags that can be reused or recycled. Those who violate the ban could face fines of up to 3 million won (about US$2,700).