When recycling PET bottles in apartment complexes, we reported that most of them would be in vain if they removed the labels and collected them separately.
Jang Se-man, an environmental reporter, checked to see if it was worthwhile to collect separately.
It is a residential area where a transparent PET pilot project has been in progress since last month.
There is a recycling bin on one side of the alley.
A separate box for transparent plastic bottles has been created, but not a few residents are unaware of it.
[주민 : (이건 일반 플라스틱이고 이건 투명 페트인데 좀 헷갈리시죠?) 이거를(라벨) 떼어서 여기다 넣으라고?]
As is the case with another collection point nearby, there is a mixture of labeled PET as well as various plastics in a transparent plastic container.
[주민 : (투명 페트 별도 배출이) 잘 안 되는 거지. 토요일이나 일요일 되면 여기가 막 넘쳐서….]
Waste plastics are collected at the public sorting site operated by the ward office, but there are obstacles here as well.
In order to make transparent PET into high-quality raw materials used for long fibers for clothing or food containers, sorting must be done in an uncontaminated, dedicated facility, but only 7% of the 187 public sorting centers nationwide have dedicated facilities.
The Ministry of Environment said it would invest 5 billion won each year to build 20 dedicated facilities every year, but it will take several more years to install all the other sorting plants.
It is rushing to implementation without even preparing for it.
[재활용업계 관계자 : (투명 페트 별도 배출이 이달 말에) 전국으로 지금 시행이 돼요. 그러니까 (정부가) 발표만 그렇게 해서 그냥 홍보만 하고 이게 사업이 되든 안 되든 이제 뒷전이라는 거죠.]
The biggest problem is that if the vicious cycle of mixing and disposing of them is not resolved even if they are put together effortlessly, it can eventually break the will of citizens to participate in segregated discharge.