Press Release

Board View

Increasing the Use of Reusable Cups Inside and Outside Stores: Agreement between the Ministry of Environment and Industry to Reduce Disposable Cups

▷ Creating a foundation for personal cup usage through cup washing machines, encouraging reduction in disposable cup usage

▷ Promoting a culture of reusable cup usage not only in stores but also for takeouts

The Ministry of Environment (Minister Han Wha-jin) announced on the morning of May 27 that it will sign a business agreement at Starbucks Reserve Jongno (Jongno-gu, Seoul) with SCK Company (Starbucks), LG Electronics, and the Korea Zero Waste Movement Network (KZWMN) to promote the culture of using reusable cups.


The signing ceremony will be attended by the Minister Han Wha-jin, Starbucks CEO Son Jeong-hyeon, Head (President) of LG Electronics H&A Business Division Ryu Jae-cheol, and KZWMN Chairperson Kim Mi-hwa. 

This agreement was arranged by the related organizations with the goal of reducing the use of disposable cups by promoting the practice of using reusable cups both inside and outside the stores.

The Ministry has previously signed voluntary agreements with restaurants, duty-free shops, baseball teams, and others to reduce the use of disposable items and promote recycling. In particular, on January 25 of this year, it expanded and renewed agreements with coffee shops, fast food restaurants, and confectionery companies to establish a culture of using reusable cups in stores. 

To establish a culture of using reusable cups, LG Electronics, which participated in the agreement, has developed cup washing machines and application services, which are currently being piloted in four Starbucks stores.

Starbucks offers a KRW 400 discount to customers using personal cups or a point system (one eco-star per use of a personal cup) where collecting 12 stars earns a free beverage, provided through its application. Starting this month, on the “Zero Disposables Day” (10th of every month), an additional eco-star point is awarded.

After this agreement, Starbucks and LG Electronics will participate in the voluntary reduction paradigm of disposable items not only inside but also outside their stores by actively operating reusable cup washing systems and expanding the foundation for continuous voluntary reduction. The two companies plan to lead the promotion of reusable cup usage culture by installing reusable cup washing machines (solutions*) in all Starbucks stores by 2027. In addition, they plan to introduce promotional videos on resource circulation from the Ministry through the Starbucks application.

In addition, the KZWMN will work to spread the movement for establishing a culture of using reusable cups and will strive to achieve effective results by monitoring the implementation of this agreement.

Minister Han Wha-jin stated, “Expanding the culture of using reusable cups is one of our practices for a sustainable circular economy.” She added, “With this agreement, we hope to see the spread of reusable cup usage even for 

takeouts, and the Ministry will also do its best to provide policy support 

including carbon neutrality points payment, etc.”

For further information, please contact the Public Relations Division. 

Contact person: Gina Lee, foreign media spokesperson

Phone: +82-44-201-6055

Email: gcjgina