Chinese Passengers Trash Jeju Airport Departure Area With Vast Amount Of Garbage


Jeju Airport in South Korea saw itself confronted with hoards of Chinese tourists who shopped at the airport’s Duty Free shop and then left behind packaging all over the departure area.

jeju-airportThe boarding area as documented by pictures looks indeed like a battlefield after the passengers left which leaves you wondering why the packaging needs to come off right after purchasing.

South Korea and Jeju Island in particular has seen a spike in problems associated with the influx of tourists from Mainland China recently including an incident where 100 passengers were denied entry during the Golden Week holiday and had to spend it an immigration detention facility.

The Korea Times (access here) reported about this most recent incident in Jeju.

Jeju airport is grappling with overflowing garbage from Chinese tourists.

Gates for international flights on the third floor of Jeju International Airport are teeming with rubbish from duty free goods purchased by Chinese tourists, according to Jeju newspaper Jemin Ilbo.

When tourists purchase duty free goods outside the airport, they have to pick them up from a designated area at the departure gate. The problem arises when the tourists rip the wrapping from the items at the gate before boarding, to reduce their size and weight. Then they leave the rubbish on the floor.

Staff from duty free shops and cleaners have asked Chinese tourists to use dumpsters, and even gave them garbage bags. The Korea Airports Corporation in Jeju has also taken action by increasing the number of cleaners at the gate from two to three.

“We will keep reinforcing the sanitation team at the gates for international flights,” an official from the airport told The Korea Times.

He said the airport has special areas around the gate where tourists can dump the rubbish and airport staffs have been reminding them of the regulations.

“Even though there is still lots of rubbish left after they depart, less of them are dumping it on the floor after we’ve taken action,” the official said. “Those who keep throwing waste on the floor might face fines as a penalty in the future.”

I’ve never seen passengers get rid of all their packaging before boarding a flight. Do the airlines ex Jeju limit their passengers so much in carry on to the point of where even the Duty Free is above the limit?


Unfortunately this type of behavior doesn’t add to the improvement of Chinese tourists abroad. I don’t get why it’s so hard for them to follow regulations and civilized ways of disposing garbage in designated trash bins instead of littering all over the place. Let’s see if the airport authorities will be successful in enforcing their rules in the future.

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  1. You only have to see the pollution in China and see how they ‘share’ their industrial waste to the rest of the world to probably understand why many (not all) Chinese selfishly adopt a disrespectful attitude to other countries. I’m all right Jack – f**k you sums it up I think!

  2. Maybe the Chinese airlines are finally cracking down on every Chinese tourist boarding the plane with 6 large duty free bags and 3 boxed rice cookers?

    All joking aside, I certainly don’t condone littering like this anywhere, but if the airport is providing them with a place to dispose of garbage and they refuse to use it, then indeed they should be fined.

    I understand a bit more in places like Japan where it’s impossible to throw anything away in many public places, they really try to force people to take their trash home with them rather than dispose of it locally, so a lot of it (REALLY a lot) ends up in the public restroom stalls. I can’t blame the people who do this so much as the municipality should understand that public beaches and parks are going to have garbage to dispose of.

  3. I pass through ICN several times a year, Last month I was killing time by watching the frenzy of Chinese pax doing just this. I was amazed they just left the trash where they stood. Disgusting.

  4. The mainland Chinese already have a major image problem, and situations like this just exacerbate the problem. I’d say to not let the plane leave until they pick up their trash. It’s a simple, enforceable solution.

  5. I saw it once at ICN. The Cathay lounge is quite near the duty free and I confess I stood and took pictures because I couldn’t believe my eyes. It’s really disgusting.

  6. Last month I saw four Chinese businessmen not only trash the Asiana Airlines lounge at Incheon but they were also hanging out with their shirts off after taking a shower.

  7. Instead of blaming those tourist for ripping away all the plastic from their purchase, one could suggest Korea to change this ridiculous system of imposing tourist to pick up their purchase at the airport, thus allowing them to put their purchase in their luggage directly at hotel before arriving at the airport, as any other country in the world. This would simply avoid the situation of tourists ripping off the plastics so that they can fill – often at the last minute – their checked luggage with their purchase…

    Indeed Chinese often get criticized for their (bad) behavior and habits abroad, but in the same time 1 inhabitant out of 9 on earth is Chinese => you see Chinese everywhere so it’s easy to always blame them for their way of being… Plus this feeling is increased by the fact that they are always walking around by units of +50 so you can’t miss them !!!

  8. It might be also that they try to avoid paying customs/taxes back in China. If the goods are in their original wrapping, they were clearly bought abroad. Otherwise they can claim that this was already with them upon leaving China. Doesn’t work for booze, but for fragrance, electronics, etc very well might.


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