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Pandemic food delivery trend worsening plastic pollution Updated: 2020-09-14 05:55:45 KST

The pandemic has led more and more people to shop online and order delivery food.
But that's causing pollution from plastic packaging, already a major threat, to get worse.
According to the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation, the average amount plastic consumed by a South Korean for all of last year was 11.five kilograms.
For South Korea as a whole, in the five years prior to that, the amount of plastic waste rose a whopping 46 percent to 6,375 tons.
That prompted the South Korean government in 2019 to take measures like banning plastic cups when drinking in a cafe, and no more free plastic bags at the supermarket.
For people ordering take-out in the pandemic, some rules on food packaging were partly eased for restaurants, and that's showing up in South Korea's landfills.

"There's more residential waste compared to last year because of the increase in food delivery due to COVID-19."

According to a survey by aT Corporation on 303 consumers, more than 98 percent of them agreed that more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative packaging should be used for food.
But 65 percent said they still order delivery food even though they're aware that the disposable plastic could make environmental problems worse.
An aT Corporation official said more government support is needed to develop and apply more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative packaging materials.
Eum Ji-young Arirang News.
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