Korea Environment Corporation generated 183.4 billion won by recycling plastic wastes in 2011.
Korea Environment Corporation (KECO, Chairman: Pak Seung-hwan), a subordinate organization of the Ministry of Environment, said on July 24 it generated 183.4 billion won in economic effects by recycling about 180,000 tons of plastic wastes in 2011 by operating the voluntary agreement system for collecting and recycling plastic wastes.
The voluntary agreement system for collecting and recycling plastic wastes is a measure that encourages manufacturers and importers (including industry organizations) of plastic products and packing materials, which are subject to pay waste disposal charges, to voluntarily conclude agreements with the Environment Minister and exempt such charges when they fulfilled the agreement.
The evaluation on performances achieved by implementing the system in 2011 showed that it generated a total of 183.4 billion won in economic effects, including 48.4 billion won saved by reducing costs for landfill and incineration of such wastes and 135 billion won generated by producing salable recycled products.
It also mitigated financial burden of companies that faithfully fulfilled agreements by exempting approximately 47.9 billion won in waste disposal charges.
This figure is equivalent to profits gained from exporting about 11,835 vehicles at the average automobile price in the first half of 2011.
Also, the system contributed to generating new green jobs by employing about 1,269 workers when estimated adopting the induced-coefficient of employment in manufacturing industry.
In addition, it also reduced 202,357 tons of greenhouse gases (mainly carbon dioxide) by actively recycling plastic wastes, which would otherwise have been reclaimed or incinerated.
And it achieved the targeted volume of mandated recycling products by 102.7% by recycling 179,000 tons versus 175,000 tons of mandated recycling products out of total production of 1.335 million tons of products, which are eligible for voluntary agreements.
Having been implemented for nearly 5 years, the voluntary agreement system for collecting and recycling plastic wastes is evaluated to have established stable operation base by generating substantial economic benefits, mitigating financial burden of companies, and reducing greenhouse gases.
The number of plastic products subject to voluntary agreement increased from 8 items, including lubricant packing container, in 2008 by 225% to 18 items in 2011, and the number of companies rose by 188% from 412 to 777 companies in the same period.
In 2011, 11 companies and organizations signed the voluntary agreement for collecting and recycling plastic wastes for 18 items, including water purifier, bidet, and PVC tube. As of 2011, a total of 777 companies, including 352 manufacturers and 425 recycling companies, are registered for the agreement.
The average volume of 18 items subject to recycling is 9,726 tons, and 15 items, excluding PE tube (79.4%), rope/net (91.1%) and vacuum cleaner (56.7%), achieved the targeted volume of mandated recycling products.
Production volume and volume of mandated recycling of plastic products for building, profile and flooring, are largest in production volume and volume subject to recycling among agreed products with about 450,000 tons and about 63,000 tons, respectively.
Economic benefits also increased by 35.8 billion won annually on average from 75.9 billion won in the first year to 183.4 billion won in 2011.
Chairman Pak Seung-hwan of KECO said, “In Korea that relies on imported energy by 96%, the measure of recycling plastic is the core environment policy for green growth. We expect more stable and transparent foundation for recycling industry will be established as the recycling business is continuously legalized through voluntary agreements.”