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South Korea Curbs Food Waste With Hi-Tech Tracking

South Korea’s RFID garbage metering system has reduced food waste by hundreds of thousands of tons over the last few years.

In South Korea, residents pay for each bag of organic garbage, encouraging them sort recycling and reduce waste.

Using a high-tech radio-frequency identification tracking system, South Korea has waged one of the most successful campaigns against food waste in the world.

In 2013, the country implemented a system requiring residents to scan an ID card when using public trash cans.

The receptacles weigh the amount of garbage that goes in, and a metered disposal fee goes to the user.

Trash bags can be purchased for about one dollar per 2.6 gallon bag (10 liters), which also encourages sorting and waste reduction.

Since 2008, the country’s food waste has dropped from 5.1 million metric tons to 4.82 million in 2014.

The country’s environment ministry says these measures have helped to reduce household food waste in Seoul by 30 percent.

Read More:

  • ‘Pay As You Waste’ System Helps South Korea Cut Down On Discarded Food (PSFK)
  • South Korea Cuts Food Waste With ‘Pay As You Trash’ (Straits Times)
Chad Bouchard

Chad Bouchard is a veteran reporter and WFIU alum who has covered wild and wooly beats from Indonesia to Capitol Hill. His radio work has aired on NPR, PRI and Voice of America, and his writing has appeared in The Sunday Telegraph and Scientific American’s health magazine, Lives. He has also spent a lifetime gardening, foraging and eating weird stuff.

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