[Consumerwide_Jinil, Kang Reporter / Yohan, Bok Reporter] Domestic mobile carriers are not sparing their efforts to make eco-friendly consumption value. Mobile carriers are actively expanding and practicing using multi-useable cups instead of disposable plastic cups through utilizing ICT techniques under environment protection goals. SKT and KT are stepping forward the use of multi-useable cups. As much as their movement is bigger, this is good news for those consumption-value-based consumers, who already have been trying to reduce the use of disposable products for the environment, when they get to visit offline stores, since this gives more options. Followed by SKT, the effect of using multi-useable cups considering carbon emission reduction was enormous.
On the 16th, followed by the mobile carriers' industry, domestic mobile carriers including SKT and KT are making an effort to develop an automated recovery system so that users might use multi-useable cups instead of disposable plastic cups using their ICT techniques.
In the position of SKT and KT, it's a project for ESG management. However, in the position of the consumers, this makes them able to practice eco-friendly consumption values. In bigger picture, it's a good way of participating in the 'entire world carbon neutralization keynote'.
In the case of SKT, they organized 'Habit eco alliance' in order to resolve disposable plastic cup issues in 2020, cooperating with 51 businesses and organizations including Seoul-si, KB financial group, Starbucks Korea, Dalkom.
Habit Eco Alliance has been facilitating cycle systems that produce, provide, collect, and reuse multi-useable cups based on ICT technique.(Habit cup, 100% recycled after 70 times of use, made with polypropylene material)
Happyhabit is a system where you get a multi-useable cup with a 1000 won deposit at the stores. After that, it returns a deposit when you return your used multi-useable through automated recovery system for multi-useable cups. Returned multi-useable cups are, after processing at high temperature and pressure in the cleaning businesses, reused.
The recovery machine involves the Vision AI technique of SKT, so it can distinguish multi-useable cups. Cameras installed inside of the recovery machines film cups and send them to a cloud server. Afterwards, image recognition AI recognizes them, distinguishes multi-useable cups, and accepts them. Returned cups are collected and washed at the social company established by SK group, Happyconnect.
Happyhabit started in July, 2021, in the Jeju region, and today it's been spreading to Busan, Inchon, Seoul. At the point of Dec. 2022, Happyhabit-adopted businesses numbered 223 places and 257 machines.
SKT said that since Happyhabit has been adopted, there are 5.8 million disposable cups that are reduced till Dec. 2022. This is the same effect as planting 72000 pine trees, which can also be converted to reduce 170 tonnes of carbon. In addition, they could reduce disposable cups as much as 194 times to the height of Halla mountain after facilitating Happyhabit on Jeju Island for one year.
The SKT related person said, "In order to extend the use of multi-useable cups, the number of participants matters. Hence, we will be cooperating with various organizations and businesses for faster expansion."
In practice, Ms. Kang said, who already used multi-useable cups at Starbux (Seoul, company worker, 30th). "My daily-consumption standard is eco-friendly. On purpose, I particularly purchase eco-friendly services or products. I was glad to find an automated recovery system for multi-useable cups, so I used it right away. I wish there was more service like this. Consumers thinking 'if spending money is inevitable, I will choose eco-friendly products' in mind will actively participate."
KT is starting to develop an automated recovery system solution for multi-useable cups along with campaigns for multi-useable cups cooperating with Trashbusters, a service business alternative for disposable products.
Earlier, KT had been running a rental service for multi-useable cups at the KT Kwangwhamun office building, which is the start of a multi-useable cup use campaign since 2021.
Staff of the company and visitors use multi-useable cups instead of disposable cups when they purchase coffee in the company, and used cups are collected in the collecting boxes placed on each floor. Lastly, Trashbusters collects them and washes them professionally. This is how the system works.
After that, they encouraged people in the company to continually use multi-useable cups instead of paper cups by facilitating multi-useable cup spaces on each floor of the office. Multi-useable cup places are extended to Songpa(Seoul) office and KTwizpark.
As a result, Songpa office could replace 140000 disposable cups by multi-useable cups in 8 months. In pursuance of enjoying the incredible output, they suggested a multi-useable cup use campaign to Kwangwhamun Oneteam affiliated businesses, last year.
Trashbusters is a company that provides multi-useable tablewares in places that have frequent use of disposable products. They contribute to making an environment where former disposable product users can practice 'reuse' without changing daily life habits through their rent, collect, washing services. This year, Feb, Trashbusters reduced consumption of 15.34 million.(accumulated)
Through this business agreement, these two companies are going to concentrate on increasing the recovery rate of multi-useable cups while getting ready for expansion of the 'disposable cup deposit system by grafing ICT technique in the multi-useable cup recovery machines.
KT refunds deposit cash to the consumers through bank account or mobile applications when the customer, who initially paid for the multi-useable cups, takes a QR code to the machine. The number of returned cups is monitored through IoT equipment, and Trashbusters collect them and washes them for reuse.
Through the process of increasing the collecting rate of multi-useable cups, it is expected to increase the number of reuses. This definitely means that this reduction in plastic cups takes us closer to a clean environment.
Yu Changgyu, the Managing Director of Corporate Customer Headquarters of KT Gangbuk Gangwon, said that they will help Korean citizens practice 'reuse' even easily through utilizing ICT techniques of their own corporate.