Over the course of this campaign, we’ve looked at how 2016 has been a year for positive change in dealing with food waste; innovative new apps, inspiring chefs and huge legislative changes from France & Italy. Now, we will take a look at a country that has been taking action against food waste since the mid-90’s: South Korea.
In 1996, A ‘Food Waste Reduction Masterplan’ was launched by the South Korean government and over the last two decades, new schemes have been introduced every few years to help reduce food waste.
In 2005, after years of building up a strong recycling program for homes and restaurants, food waste was banned completely from landfills. Instead, food waste is disposed of in separate containers before being taken to facilities where it is ‘crushed and dried for animal feed or fertilizer or burned to generate electricity‘, thus preventing the production of harmful methane.
These sustainable disposal methods are combined with measures taken to change people’s attitudes towards food waste in South Korea. Food waste bins require the user to swipe a card, tracking how much waste each individual is creating and determining how much each person pays for the waste service. The government has also increased the price of plastic bin bags by 30% since the start of the year, making waste reduction a financially wise decision for South Koreans.
The recycling rate of food waste has risen from 2% in 1995 to 95% in 2009 and since the introduction of ‘pay-as-you-waste’ volume-based charging, districts in Seoul alone have reduced household food waste by 30 percent and restaurant food waste by 40 percent.
South Korea’s dedication to reducing food waste has had hugely beneficial results and allowed for a nation of people who are aware of the waste they are creating. South Korea show no sign of slowing down, with plans to invest and reduce more over the coming years.
Here at Taste Over Waste, we think decisive legislative change like this is the key to making a real, significant difference and we think Australia needs to do the same. If you agree that the Australian government needs to take swift and decisive action, please sign our petition HERE.