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  • 작성자 사진Kim Min-ji

[Society] COVID-19 Virus Spreads Good Virus, Green Consumer

No. 151 / Apr 19, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has persisted for over a year now, has brought about so many changes in people’s daily lives. In order to prevent the spread of the virus, the government has imposed a ban on gatherings of five or more people, companies have shifted toward increased teleworking, and schools are also conducting non-face-to-face classes, except for certain grades and classes. These actions have reduced the number of people who go out and eat out, which has led to an increase in online shopping. The Korean delivery food market has grown even more rapidly owing to the COVID-19 outbreak. According to an announcement by the National Statistical Office in the second half of 2020, the total amount of food delivery service transactions in 2020 amounted to 1,738 trillion won, which is an increase of 78.6% from the previous year’s 973.2 billion won. The Korean delivery food market has steadily increased by 8 %–10% every year, but this growth has accelerated since the first quarter of 2019. This increase in food deliveries means a corresponding increase in packaging waste. It is estimated that every day, 9.05 million pieces of trash are generated due to deliveries. This increase in garbage has changed consumer perceptions. With the resurgence of the Green Consumer movement, a new era of green consumers has begun. The changes brought about by this new era is seen in straw return campaigns, eco bag delivery services such as SSG and Coupang, which are online shopping platforms, and a campaign called “Take Courage and Bring out Multi-Use Containers”.

The green consumer movement could be described using the 4 R’s (Refuse. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle). The best example of this is the Take “Courage” and Bring out “Multi-Use Containers” campaign. The name of this campaign is rhyme expression using homonyms. The two highlighted words are pronounced same as “yonggi” in Korean. This campaign involves the packaging of food in frying pans instead of pizza boxes, pots instead of plastic containers, and multi-use containers instead of cake boxes, to “refuse” companies that overuse disposables, to “reduce” waste, to “reuse” multi-use containers, and to “recycle” unavoidable disposables. This movement is spreading across various media such as YouTube, personal blogs, and Social Network Service (SNS) since a YouTube video uploaded by the “Garbage Kingdom” channel about ordering food deliveries without disposables reached about a million views.

There are various ways to become green consumers in everyday life, even if you do not post about your activities on open platforms. Buying from the Aladdin secondhand bookstore, using non-plastic wrap pens and refills, choosing electronic receipts instead of paper receipts, buying from zero waste shops, and using a tumbler are just some examples. Here is an introduction of the StarbucksMiiR collaboration. After purchasing a tumbler, you can check where the 3% of the tumbler price that you donated was used by entering the code written on a paper included in the item into the MiiR website. This collaboration is helpful to both the environment and humanity. During these times, it is important to note that the focus should not be on the Starbucks brand, but on consumption based on the 4 R’s. It is recommended that you use each tumbler around 1,000 times. Let go of the selfish thought; “Will my individual actions change the world?”.


By Kim Min-ji, AG Cub Reporter

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