▷ Paris Baguette and Tous Les Jours reduced the use of plastic bags by 79% since the voluntary agreement, and by 84% since the ban of free provisions.
▷ The all-out ban of disposable plastic bags in hypermarkets (supermarkets) is well-received.
The Ministry of Environment (Minister Cho Myung-rae) announced the 'Outcome of the Implementation of the Business Agreement (hereafter 'the outcome')', regarding the voluntary business agreement to reduce the use of disposable items. The agreement was signed by the Ministry, and Paris Baguette and Tous Les Jours, the major confectionary companies in Korea, on July 2nd of last year.
The outcome is from a survey conducted in June, regarding the reduction of plastic bag use in the stores of Paris Baguette and Tous Les Jours during a period of almost one year from July 2018 to May 2019.
Paris Baguette is a confectionery brand of SPC Group with 3,459 stores nationwide, and Tous Les Jours is a confectionery brand of CJ Foodville with 1,347 stores.
Under the voluntary agreement, the two companies were exempted from the regulation on disposable plastic bags. Instead, they agreed to voluntarily reduce the use of plastic bags considering the significance of the current environment pollution and stopped the free provision of disposable plastic bags in January 2019.
The following are the results of the survey on the use of disposable plastic bags from both confectionery companies since the agreement: ▲ According to a comparison to the same period length before and after the agreement (July 2017 - May 2018, July 2018 - May 2019), the use of disposable plastic bags decreased by 125,918,683 (63.4%), from 198,689,101 to 72,770,418.
After the signing of the voluntary agreement, ▲ both companies started the full-fledged reduction of disposable products in October of last year. According to a comparison to the same period length before and after the reduction (October 2017 - May 2018, October 2018 - May 2019), the use of disposable plastic bags decreased by 111,249,739 (78.6%), from 141,583,395 to 30,333,656. Paris Baguette, especially, showed a stark decrease in the use of plastic bags, thanks to its policy of replacing them with recycled paper bags.
From January of this year, ▲ both companies stopped the free provision of disposable plastic bags. According to a comparison to the same period length before and after the stoppage (January - May 2018, January - May 2019), the use of disposable plastic bags decreased by 75,874,496, more than 83.7%, from 90,662,492 to 14,787,996.
Meanwhile, it seems the all-out ban of disposable plastic bags targeting large stores and hypermarkets (supermarkets) sized 165㎡ or more, which was implemented in April of this year, is well-received in only three months.
Since then, the total number of exposed violation cases from April to June was 18,224.
Local governments imposed 41 fines for violation of the ban through May, and there were no cases of fining in June. Therefore, the ban policy is being well-executed in its current stage.
"It is very meaningful to mark the International Plastic Bag Free Day on July 3rd by acknowledging the achievements of the voluntary efforts and policies of the confectionery industry," stated Director Lee Che-eun, Resources Circulation Bureau of the Ministry of Environment. "In line with an era in which the consideration of the environment is a must, we will implement the right policies to create a resource circulation society free from disposable products."