South Korea Proposes New Regulations to Minimize Waste Generation, including Through Restrictions on Packaging

In mid-January, the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea released a draft Law Concerning the Promotion of Resource Conservation and Recycling. The draft regulation includes a number of measures designed to reduce waste generation and promote reuse and recycling, but within the regulations are restrictions on the types of packaging that may be used across consumer industries.

Specifically, the draft regulation proposes that all consumer product packaging be labeled “easy to recycle” or “difficult to recycle” according to this standard. ReMA is concerned that the criteria for recyclability may be based solely on the availability of recycling technology within Korea and not on any international standard or specification for recyclability. Furthermore, ReMA is concerned that the label itself – if not properly considered – could render all packaging non-recyclable.

The draft regulation does not appear to affect imports of scrap into Korea, but it could affect the domestic scrap market within Korea. Nevertheless, if members have any questions or concerns about the regulations, please contact Adina Renee Adler

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