Greece drops “one-use plastics”

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — The Greek Minister of Environment and Energy launched a campaign whose slogan is “Greece free of plastic for one time”, by arriving yesterday, Saturday, with a group of volunteers to a beach in the country to clean it of waste.

“We are moving forward with projects on the abandonment of single-use plastics,” said the minister, Costis Hadzidakis.

According to a statement issued by the ministry, the government move includes nine types of plastic products, including food containers, cups made of polystyrene foam, cotton buds, and disposable tableware (forks, knives, spoons and dishes), and beverage hoods.

After a month, Greece will include in its national legislation the relevant directive issued by the European Union, to start implementing the new law as of July 2021, knowing that in the public sector, abandonment of single-use plastics will begin six months earlier, starting in January 2021.

The Ministry plans to encourage the recycling of bottles of water and plastic drinks. A few cents of euros will be added to the price of the plastic bottle, so that every citizen can get it back when he returns the bottle. The Greek minister said that the market is being given enough time to dispose of the currently accumulating plastic materials and prepare for new environmentally friendly alternatives.

Over 26 million tons of plastic waste are collected annually in Europe, and less than a third are recycled. According to European Union data, single-use plastic makes up 50% of marine litter, while plastic materials generally account for about 85% of marine litter.

In Greece, about one million plastic cups are used daily, or about 350 million plastic cups annually.

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