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South Korea

Climate love

A role model country for the rest of the world on food waste

While wasted food rots in landfills, it pollutes not only the soil and water, but also releases huge amount of methane. Yet most of the food waste in US still ends up in landfills, while South Korean recycles almost 100%. Since 2005 it has been illegal to put food waste in the regular trash bin in South Korea.

What happened with their food waste?

Biogas: One of the plant that you can see from the food waste facility center is the biogas where they fed the wasted food to microbes which digest it and product biogas. “ it’s actually just like farts” said Lee Chang-gee, an engineer at the plant.

Animal feed: The leftovers from restaurants and residents will be grounded into animal feed for chickens and ducks after sorting out the big debris.

Fertiliser: Food waste can also be burn into fertiliser, which is rich in nutrients for crops. In South Korea, the fertiliser comes out of the food waste is provided to neighbouring farms free of charge.

This effectiveness of the South Korean system has made it a model case study for government officials in other countries, many of whom reach out to their counterparts in Seoul for advice.

Though aware of the global interest in South Korea’s success story. “I am unsure what, if any, applicable lessons the country’s model really holds” Kim Mi-hwa, chairwoman of the Korea Zero Waste Movement Network, a national coalition of 180 environmental groups that worked with the government on the recycling scheme. The most fundamental puzzle to the best recycling scheme - persuading an entire citizenry to voluntarily separate their waste — is far from an exact science.

“I think what the South Korean model proves is that it can be done if you put in the time and effort into education and outreach,” Kim said. “South Koreans didn’t suddenly become conscientious overnight. But minds can be changed over time.”

Nonetheless the amount of the investment and difficulty, it should still be emulated. The South Korea example makes it possible to reduce emissions at a national scale.




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Do you agree?

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  • winnie nguru

    2 w

    We have a very good example to emulate . this is commendable of South Korea

    • George Kariuki

      2 w

      Education is key! South Korea shows us that changing habits is possible.

      1
      • We Don't Have Time

        2 w

        Dear Vermeer Xie Your climate love has received over 50 agrees! We have reached out to South Korea by email and requested a response. I will keep you updated on any progress! To reach more people and increase the chance of a response, click the Share button above to share the review on your social accounts. For every new member that joins We Don't Have Time from your network, we will plant a tree and attribute it to you! /Adam, We Don't Have Time

        • Saustine Lusanzu

          2 w

          Waste collection and waste management has been a problem In many countries, kudos to the south Korean government

          • mary Mwihaki

            2 w

            This is commendable and it should be embraced

            2
            • Elizabeth Gathigia

              2 w

              Its a amazing project, that provides solutions to tackle pollution and it should be embraced worldwide

              1
              • Kevin

                2 w

                South Korea has provided a proper bench mark for the world in terms of recycling. They have a genius program

                1
                • Esther Wanjiku

                  2 w

                  A very brilliant project South Korea has undertaken and that should be emulated across the globe..

                  3
                  • Munene Mugambi

                    2 w

                    I'm happy to see South Korea serving as a benchmark for food recycling and I hope we all can adopt such practices. Even countries that have hunger issues, you find a lot of wastage going on there, wastage of food that could have been used to solve ginger crisis in the said country while also ensuring methane emissions are kept at a minimum. This is a wake up call to us all to follow these steps

                    4
                    • Gorffly mokua

                      2 w

                      This is commendable and sets a great example for the rest of the world in tackling this environmental challenge..

                      3
                      • Jane Wangui

                        2 w

                        We all should embrace what south Korea is doing by recycling almost 100%of it's good waste so as to reduce the pollution of soils .

                        12
                        • Gorffly mokua

                          2 w

                          @jane_wangui 💚💯💚

                          1
                          • Munene Mugambi

                            2 w

                            @jane_wangui I think we all have to, we do not produce enough food to feed our enormous populations and also enough to waste. We have to put measures in place to ensure that once food is produced, it ends up being consumed as not doing this is a big shame when we have numerous people starving and unable to put a meal on the table. It is imperative we adopt such stringent measures in the food cycle to feed our people and protect the environment from emissions as well.

                            1
                          • Rashid Kamau

                            2 w

                            Nations should widely invest in waste-to-energy facilities that convert organic waste into biogas and reduces methane emissions.

                            13
                            • Gorffly mokua

                              2 w

                              @rashid_kamau completely agree, this provides an effective solution for reducing both environmental pollution & greenhouse gas emissions by converting organic waste into biogas.👏💚

                              2
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