In a recent announcement, the government of South Korea disclosed its plan of implementing restrictions on remnant PET bottle imports, the bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate.
South Korea imports a significant amount of recycled PET bottles from the US for meeting the material requirements of its several domestic manufacturers, who use it to make textiles for clothes. As revealed in the last year’s trade data of the US, 9.7 million pounds of recycled PET was exported by the country to South Korea. According to a report of The Korean Times, the US is not the only prime exporter of PET bottles in the country; the highest amount of it is imported from Japan.
Though recycled plastic is available in the country too, the mixing of debris into it during disposal and collection makes it unfit for manufacturing. The director-general of Resources Circulation Bureau, Ministry of Environment, Lee Young-gi, stated about improving the quality of bottle recycling processes in Korea to enact restrictions on bottle imports in the country.
Last month, in a release, the environment ministry of South Korea envisioned these import policy amendments as an effective way of bettering recycling in the country. For the implementation of this, the country plans to separate plastic bottles from other scraps. The resins targeted by the policy were not specified in this release; however, the announcement of the South Korean government has hinted at the inclusion of PET bottles in it. Starting from 2022, the government targets to collect one lakh tons of plastic bottles a year. It plans to come up with separate collection systems for multi-family and single-family sectors. While former is expected to roll out in the second half of 2020, the imposition