But what about the trash that has already been dumped in South Korea — such as the smoldering heap in Uiseong?
The government has said it will relax regulations on incineration to allow for disposal, but that move has not thrilled environmental groups.
Kim Mi-kyung, of Greenpeace Korea, says incineration “creates various environmental and health problems like greenhouse gases and toxic substances.”
”If we expand the (use of) incinerators, the plastic use will expand with it, because it w
ill be easy to just burn them,” she says, adding that the problem needs to be tackled at the production level.
South Korea is one of the world’s biggest plastic consumers.
In 2015, it consumed almost 300 pounds (132 kilograms) of plastic
per capita, surpassing both the US and China at 205 and 128 pounds (93 and 58 kg), resp
ectively, according to Euromap,an association for plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers.