Piling Up Too Much Disposable Trash? – DIY Reducing Waste Movement

Do you remember the days before COVID-19 emerged? When you were allowed to eat and talk with friends in cafés and restaurants freely? Unfortunately, social distancing and lockdown forbade eating outside, and due to that, you often get food from the delivery service these days. 

According to the Mobile Index, the food delivery service industries such as Yogiyo, Baedal Minjok, and Coupang Eats Food Delivery has experienced tremendous growth by gaining 25% of users on average between August 2019 and 2020 (Seoul Economic Daily). However, this has posed significant harm to the global environment by generating toxic greenhouse gases. 

To resolve this issue, Cheongju Upcycle Citizen Center (CUCC) carried out the “100 Days Experiment of Reducing Waste” with the hundred and twenty households of Cheongju for three months from December 1st, 2020 to March 10th 2021. During this experiment, the participants monthly reported the environmental situation to detect any notable changes in the environment. The participants had to record each type of waste’s weight (paper, plastics, and cans). 

Assessing the report, the organization concluded that using reusable food containers from home to pick up the delivery foods was most effective. The people in Cheongju are actively participating in this project by bringing their food containers instead of using dishes from the delivery services. Moreover, people carry their own food bags to the grocery store to reduce unnecessary plastic or paper usage. 

As a result of this effort, the benefits to the regional community and the citizens’ lives are enormous. For example, this project yielded a reduction of 305 kilograms of waste, and people saved a good amount of their expenditures as they limited unnecessary wastes. Although the project has ended, people continued these actions; it has brought about self-consciousness towards the global environmental issue’s overall perspective (SBS News). 

Seeming that there are numerous positive outcomes, this project is recommended to other cities in Korea and worldwide.

By: Jieun Kim