Cafes receive free mugs, dishwashers

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Cafes receive free mugs, dishwashers

The Ministry of Environment partnered up with a local electronics recycling organization to offer free dishwashers and mugs to help cafes cut down on disposable waste.

The Environment Ministry and the Korea Electronics Recycling Cooperative (KERC) will provide 74 dishwashers to Coffee Bay branches and six other coffee franchises that signed voluntary agreements with the Environment Ministry to reduce their disposable waste, the ministry announced Tuesday.

In May, 21 cafe and fast food chains promised the ministry that they would introduce new measures to reduce disposable waste, encourage reusable cup use and increase the recycling rate of their paper and plastic products. The participating franchises recommended some of their smaller stores to the ministry as possible dishwasher recipients.

The Environment Ministry and KERC will also offer over 20,000 mugs to 1,331 Paik’s Coffee and Ediya Coffee cafes that measure less than 66.12 square meters (711.71 square feet) in size. Ediya Coffee also announced that it would use corporate money to provide 90,000 reusable cups to its cafes to better comply with the voluntary agreement.

“We thank the coffee franchises for working towards reducing disposable waste as well as the KERC for its decision to provide support,” said Environment Minister Kim Eun-kyung during an event on Tuesday when she announced the dishwasher and mug giveaway.

After the announcement, Kim and KERC head Hwang Jong-su visited an Ediya Coffee branch in Jongno 3-ga in central Seoul and encouraged the store owner and employees to promote reusable cups. Kim and Hwang also went around asking customers to participate more actively in reducing disposable waste.

The Ministry of Environment has been working with local governments to ban disposable cups in stores to cut down on waste. Starting this month, local governments can fine any cafe that offers disposable cups to customers drinking inside the cafe up to 2 million won ($1,785).

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