Why Do People Collect Cardboard in South Korea?

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One of the things that you might notice when exploring South Korea is people collecting cardboard material.

The reason why some older people in South Korea collect cardboard boxes and materials is to sell them to a recycling company for money. It is usually a form of supplement to the basic, usually not that high, pension plan of seniors, if they even receive any.

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They not only collect cardboard boxes, but some also collect other recyclable materials. Cardboard boxes are, however, the most common material to collect.

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Why are people collecting cardboard boxes in South Korea?

While visiting Seoul, Busan, or another city in South Korea, you might have noticed some older people collecting cardboard boxes and sometimes other material.

Usually, they carry some kind of wagon or a cart so they can stack the cardboard high and pull it all at once.

People who collect cardboard material in South Korea do it to earn money. Some dedicated recycling companies will purchase it from the people who collect it.

Nobody is hiring the elderly people who collect cardboard material to do so, which means that it is technically not their job, even though many of the ones who do depend on the money earned from it.

The pension system in South Korea is often not enough to live off for the elderly if they don’t receive any help from their children or some other system, which is why some have to resort to collecting cardboard boxes at a very old age to survive.

Other materials are also collected by some elderly people for the same purpose of selling them, but cardboard is the one that you see most often.

That’s why some people are collecting cardboard boxes in South Korea!

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Tim Stadel Clausen

Tim Stadel Clausen is the owner of Timzer Travels. He has been fortunate to be able to travel around the world because of his work, and he now shares guides and travel tips to help others.

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