“I’m worried that the provision of plastic bags is prohibited on the day of the World Cup match (Group H Korea-Uruguay match).”
Due to the ‘disposable product regulation’ that came into effect on the 24th, it is no longer possible to sell plastic bags at convenience stores. On this day, the first match of the Qatar World Cup by the Korean national team is held at 10:00 p.m., and many customers are expected to visit the convenience store. This is a situation that can cause a quarrel with guests.
University student A, whom I met at a convenience store, said, “I’m going to buy beer at the convenience store and go to the World Cup, but I’m worried that the beer will tear the paper bag.”
An employee at a convenience store in Seoul said, “Some customers raise their voices, saying that a paper bag will tear even if it contains only two packs of beer. Some people hold hands full instead of the bag.” “Tonight (when the soccer game starts) There will be more, but it’s already dizzying,” he worried.
“A paper bag?”… Consumers reluctant to buy bags
Many convenience stores in Seoul that I visited that day were out of stock of disposable bags, and many provided paper bags or eco-friendly bags in line with the enforcement of disposable product regulations.
A 7-Eleven employee at a convenience store said, “Currently, the stock of disposable bags is exhausted, so we mainly provide eco-friendly paper bags.” “As the price of bags rises to 100 to 250 won, many customers say, ‘Why are they so expensive?'”
A CU convenience store owner said, “From today, we are providing paper bags according to regulations, but the purchase rate is definitely lower than that of plastic bags. Some people even buy reusable shopping bags.” An employee of E-Mart 24 confessed, “Since last week, we have already been providing paper bags instead of plastic bags, and our job is to persuade the elderly who raise their voices to ask for plastic bags as usual.”
Although the disposable product regulation is enforced from this day, some places still provide disposable bags because a one-year guidance period was given. Convenience store employee A said, “I know it’s still a grace period. When the disposable bags run out, we plan to provide another bag from then on.” It seems,” he added.
Mr. Kim (28), an office worker, said, “It is a burden to buy paper bags every time I visit a convenience store.
“Can’t even use a coffee stirrer?” The cafe is also confused
Cafes are another place where you can experience disposable product regulations, such as banning the use of paper cups and plastic straws, including disposable cups used in stores.
However, many of the front-line cafes visited during rush hours this morning said that the preparation period for the implementation of the system and the way to postpone it were not clear, adding to the confusion. Mr. B, the owner of a private cafe, hinted, “I didn’t know that even the stick (rod) for stirring hot drinks was banned.”
Some customers expressed dissatisfaction, saying, “I’m going to wake up after drinking for a while, but I can’t use disposable cups unconditionally.” Mr. C, who runs a small private cafe, said, “There are a lot of customers who sit down for a while during rush hour or lunch hour and then take out, so we have provided disposable items in the store as well.” did. Mr. D, the owner of a private cafe, also added, “I’m worried that there will be complaints about being picky about saying no to each and every regular customer who asks for a disposable cup.”
Many responded that they did not even know that the system would be implemented from this day. Cafe owner E, who mainly sells takeout, said, “Private cafes do not have a structure in which notices are issued from the head office like franchises, but you have to look for the changing systems one by one. I knew it would work,” he said.
Franchise cafes such as Starbucks and Holly’s Coffee Bean have banned the use of disposable cups in their stores this year by attaching relevant slogans. In the case of Banapresso, which I visited that day, new notices were posted saying, “When using the store (hall), we will change to a multi-use cup” and “Plastic straws will be changed to cup lids or replaced with paper straws.”
Dunkin’ and Mega Coffee introduced paper straws in their stores from this day. A Dunkin employee explained, “We have prepared paper straws in advance according to the disposable product guidelines, and starting today, we will only provide paper straws to internal dining customers.” At a mega coffee store in Gangnam, Seoul, paper straws for coffee drinks that were prepared on a trial basis ran out. An employee of the store said, “Plastic straws are only available at kiosks outside the store,” and “We provide paper straws to customers who eat at the store.”
Some pointed out that not even banning disposable items on the terrace attached to the cafe is excessive. Mr. F, who runs a cafe with a terrace larger than the inside of the store, said, “I didn’t know that takeout cups were not provided on the terrace. Mr. G, an office worker, said, “It would be inconvenient if disposable products were not used even on the terrace.”
The Ministry of Environment has decided not to impose fines for one year during the guidance period to prevent confusion at the current site and encourage voluntary participation.
An official from the Ministry of Environment said, “It is true that the disposable product regulation will be enforced from the 24th of this month, but it is a one-year guideline to give each store more time to prepare and promote.” He added, “Stores participating in the campaign will be able to download and use the notices and posters for customers related to the disposable product regulation.”
Reporter Kim Se-rin, Hankyung.com [email protected]