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[GreenYes] Wasteless 2002 World Cup in Korea
Citizen Initiative for a Wasteless 2002 World Cup
Suyol Hong

The 2002 World Cup in Korea is going wasteless! Co-hosted by Japan and 
Korea, the games will take place from 31 May to 30 June 2002 in some of the 
most vibrant cities in Asia. Both countries will host 32 games each, with 
the opening rites to be held in Seoul and the final bout in Yokohama.

Behind the fascination and thrill of the soccer tournament is a serious 
waste management concern, particularly at the 10 stadiums that will be used 
for the 32 matches (total seating capacity: 490,207). Being a national 
passion, Koreans - young and old, men and women - are expected to watch the 
games and revel, especially when the Korean national team is at the 
centerfield. Some 400,000 tourists are likely to be lured by the massive 
publicity and promotion of the first World Cup to be held in Asia.

With the goal of reducing waste and ensuring its proper disposal, the Korea 
Waste Movement Network (KWMN) worked closely with government departments to 
put into effect some practical waste minimization plans. KWMN's 
arrangements for a wasteless World Cup began soon after Korea was 
designated to co-host the games with Japan. It constituted a special team, 
from its 270 member groups, that launched a detailed study on how waste is 
generated and managed at the different stadiums. The NGO coalition then 
approached public agencies, including those in the host cities, discussed 
their findings and offered concrete recommendations.

Between May to December 2001, the KWMN monitored waste management at 9 of 
the 10 stadiums that were used for the Confederation Cup. Volunteer teams 
kept an eye on the types of waste produced during matches, its volume and 
disposal, including promotional and cheering items and disposables used at 
the cafeteria. Following KWMN's proposal, the authorities adopted several 
groundbreaking measures. These include a ban on the free distribution of 
cheering items such as balloons in plastic stick and whistles; a smoking 
ban inside the stadium; restriction on advertising leaflets to one type per 
company; prohibition on automatic vending machines in stadium; compulsory 
announcement of stadium clean-up time; and mandatory installation of 
separate waste collection bins.

The government also agreed to provide thousands of game volunteers and 
employees with lunch money instead of lunch sets to further discourage the 
use of disposables. A proposal prohibiting the use of plastic products in 
stadium restaurants and cafeterias is under review. National and city 
governments also agreed to use as little paint as possible in the 
renovation of stadiums, and when inevitable, to use natural paint. Outside 
the stadiums,

KWMN is wooing shoppers to refuse plastic bags and carry their own bags 
when they make purchases.

The 2002 World Cup is not completely a Zero Waste event. But, is definitely 
a step forward in securing citizen-government cooperation in reducing waste.

Suyol Hong works with the Korea Waste Movement Network. For details, write 

Source: GAIA Campaigner Volume 2 Issue No. 1

Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485

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