To reduce the use of disposable plastics from umbrella covers, the South Korean government is preparing to install umbrella dryers and special water carpets at the entrances of subway stations and public offices in Seoul, South Korea’s capital city, as of May 1st.
According to city officials, the lack of recycling for plastic waste is rapidly becoming an issue, with over 300,000 plastic umbrella covers used outside of public buildings in Seoul annually. As they are wet, officials explained, this makes the covers difficult to recycle. Instead, the plastic ends up incinerated or disposed of in landfills.
A pilot project of this scheme was first introduced in September of last year. Seoul officials initially attempted to establish the plan by installing umbrella dryers outside of select government buildings. Upon seeing a seamless transition and a lack of discourse from users, they have decided to launch the scheme in its full scale by May.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government has ambitions to reduce everyday plastic production from the current 2,753 tons to 2,478 tons (a reduction of 10%, or 275 tons) by 2026 and increase the recycling rate from 69% to 79%. This implementation of umbrella dryers is just one step in a big plan toward a greater goal for the environment of South Korea.