On Nov. 7, the government withdrew the ban on disposable paper cups at food service businesses. Along with paper cups, it gave provisional approval for plastic straws at cafes and plastic bags at convenience stores.
The ban on single-use items, such as paper cups, plastic straws, and plastic bags, was part of the disposable product regulations implemented on Nov. 24 of last year. However, the government had provided a yearlong grace period where it did not enforce a fine on ban violations.
The Ministry of Environment explained that its decision was rooted in hardships faced by small business owners. Vice Environment Minister Lim Sang-jun said the ban imposed a financial burden on merchants, requiring them to hire additional personnel to wash cups or install washing machines. He added that imposing such burdens on businesses goes against the government’s duties, especially amid challenging economic conditions.
The ministry emphasized that the fundamental principle of reducing the use of disposable items remains unchanged. Instead of enforcing compulsory restrictions, it announced a shift toward encouraging the natural adoption of a lifestyle that minimizes disposable items through voluntary participation.
Amelia Moon Staff Reporter
1. What specific items were initially banned by the government according to the passage?
2. When was the ban on disposable items initially implemented, and when was the withdrawal announced?
3. What was the grace period mentioned in the passage, and why was it provided by the government?
1. Do you agree with the government's decision to withdraw the ban on disposable paper cups, plastic straws, and bags? Why or why not?
2. How might the withdrawal of the ban impact the environment, considering the initial goal was to reduce the use of disposable items?
3. What are the potential challenges faced by small business owners in complying with the ban, as mentioned in the passage?
4. Do you think voluntary participation in reducing the use of disposable items is a more effective approach than mandatory restrictions? Why or why not?