Friday, 1 May 2009

What a waste!

I'm always uncomfortable with much criticism of the places I visit - but travellers know that they do this as a matter of course - or at least they "compare" with life as they know it.

Oddly it is something that I am always asked by the Koreans here, or when I was in China. I always like to say good things - with some not so good comments if I feel it is appropriate.

Here I'd like to see them reduce packaging. Of course it looks good - but in a country that is short of land, it is a nonsense to have things packed so well. If you buy a packet of candy/sweets, you will find them singly wrapped, then in another packed, and some might even have a smart outer layer too.

In recognition of the need to reduce rubbish, there is a fee if you want a plastic bag at the supermarket, but there is still a need to educate the people about littering and correct (and better) rubbish removal. The pile at the corner of the street is rather unpleasant - and though it is well cleaned up by early morning, it is a disgusting sight towards the end of the day as a myriad of bags of food, paper, and other broken or discarded items pile up.

I followed a young man along the street yesterday and he dropped lolly wrappers and other rubbish along the street as he walked. I did momentarily feel like I should stop him and tell him off - but it would have been a waste of time - he was clearly Korean.

But another thing that I find strange is the rubbish piles - one day I will take a photo of a plot of land near here that is piled high with rubbish. People grow vegetables in the corner of what clearly is half rubbish dump.

There are few bins in the streets anyway - and like many country roads, the rubbish just piles up.

Need for a good waste disposal program in Korea? I think so.

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