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recent months, corona has not been going out well, so I ordered a courier service or ordered food to eat. However, when you open the packaging, there are many companies that use 'eco-friendly paper ice packs', which, unlike the name, turned out not to be environmentally friendly and difficult to recycle.

Reporter Chan-Bum Park covered.

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ice pack that comes with an order for refrigerated food.

As the interest in eco-friendliness increases, paper materials are widely used these days.

It is also said that when disposing of garbage, it is recycled if it is classified as 'paper'.

Really? When soaked in water, the coating material that looks like vinyl comes off.

It is a kind of 'polyethylene' that is a kind of plastic, and it was used to prevent the paper from being melted in water.

After analyzing three types of 'paper ice packs' commonly distributed on the market, they all account for more than half of polyethylene.

[Ryu Jung-yong / Professor of Paper Engineering, Kangwon National University: It is not a plastic sheet that has been melted on paper, but it is attached in a film form.] The

problem is that recycling is difficult when the density of polyethylene is so high.

This is because the dissociation process, which removes impurities from paper, takes too long and becomes less economical.

[Person in charge of paper recycling plant: Negative factors are occurring in yield (recycling rate). I think it will be a bit difficult to recycle that (paper ice pack) as a raw material.]

According to the standards of the UL certification agency in the US, plastic coated paper can be recycled only when the coating layer is less than 15% of the total weight. The.

Even online distributors and producers of paper ice packs claim that they had no idea that they could not be recycled in the field.

They just followed the government's paper-separation standards.

[Paper ice pack maker officials: (Recycling) I know that you are going into a pulp company. We sell, but how to separate ... ]

In fact, according to the guidelines of the Ministry of Environment, it is said that paper coated on one side can be classified as 'paper', but there is no restriction on the weight of components such as polyethylene.

Materials that are difficult to recycle are called 'green paper' in the gap of regulations.

The Ministry of Environment acknowledged the problem and announced that it would open an expert committee in the early days to create guidelines to subdivide the coated paper into 'paper' or 'living waste' depending on the proportion of ingredients.

(Video coverage: Park Dae-young, Video editing: Jang Hyun-gi, CG: Hyun-jeong Jung, Yoo-jin Lee, VJ: Oh Se-gwan, Shin So-young)