|   Nature


  |   Nature


S. Korea asks EU for revision of its single-use plastic directive

The Single-Use Plastics Directive, which took effect in July of last year, mandates the prohibition of certain plastic itemss.

South Korea’s Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun asked for the European Union to review its directive on single-use plastics, as the rule has prevented South Korean companies with the latest technologies of making bioplastics from accessing the European market.

Due to its impact on eco-friendly items and limitation on Korean firms’ market access, Ahn insists that the regulation be reviewed immediately based on close consultations between the EU and companies concerned,

It was during a meeting with EU Ambassador to South Korea Maria Castillo-Fernandez in Seoul, that Ahn made the request.

The Single-Use Plastics Directive, which took effect in July of last year, mandates the prohibition of certain single-use plastics. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy, it not only regulates fossil-based plastics but also restricts environmentally friendly bioplastics.

Only South Korea, the United States, and Japan have secured critical bioplastics technologies at this time.

The two sides also addressed methods to cooperate in supply chains, digitization, and other significant trade concerns during the meeting.

They agreed that despite the COVID-19 epidemic and other global challenges, the two countries' economic connections have remained strong, with two-way commerce reaching an all-time high of US$129.5 billion last year, up 26.1 percent from the previous year.

Ahn emphasized rising bilateral supply chain cooperation in new industry domains including electric automobiles, batteries, and chips, and expressed optimism for more joint efforts on developing trade challenges such as green growth and digital.

In the face of a global supply chain crisis, the Ukraine war, and other challenges, the EU ambassador emphasized the importance of working together for free and open market order and the transition to a sustainable economic structure, according to the ministry.

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