Haylee Lee

Food Packaging in Seoul, Korea

Class of: 2024

Major: Illustration BFA

Medium: Video

Faculty: Juanli Carrion

Prompt: For this project, we had to select a wicked system present in our local area and create a video essay explaining the problem and potentially offering a solution for it. A wicked system can be defined as 2 any system that is hard to solve due to how interconnected it is to multiple causes.

The local wicked system I chose was the system of plastic food packaging in Seoul, South Korea. In 2015, the South Korean government released a policy known as the “Circular Economy.” Under this system, every household must separate their trash into different recyclable categories. Then this would be transported to Resource Recovery facilities where they would either compress the plastic into solid fuels or be incinerated for heat energy or be disposed of in landfills. Recycled plastic that turns into solid fuels would then be reused for further plastic production, and the cycle goes on.

Starting a small cafe, or restaurant is popular in Korea amongst young adults looking to collect money and retired adults who still need financial support. For small businesses, cheap, easily customizable packaging is the number one option in cutting down funding. Packaging service companies and delivery service companies also benefit economically from working with a huge client base. To suddenly eradicate the usage of plastic food packaging would mean to cause devastating economic harm to all of these parties.

Hence, I propose three solutions: Firstly, we should instill reusable packaging. Secondly, we should use biodegradable packaging in everyday life. Finally, we should get consumers to reduce the excessive consumption of products.