South Korea bans single-use plastic bags

South Korea has banned all single-use plastic bags in its major supermarkets.

Stores will instead be required to offer alternatives such as paper or cloth bags which can be recycled.

The law came into effect on Tuesday with the intention of preserving natural resources and helping to manage recyclable waste, South Korea's environment ministry said.

It will affect 2,000 major supermarkets and 11,000 supermarkets with a sales floor space greater than of 165 sq m. Bakeries will also be barred from handing out plastic bags.

Stores were previously prohibited from giving out plastic bags for free, and will now only be able to supply them to carry wet products such as meat or fish.

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