Recycling laggard Greece to discard single-use plastic

Source:Reuters Published: 2020/7/1 19:33:41

Greece has drafted a bill banning the use of a range of single-use plastics, from takeaway coffee cups to cotton buds, ahead of an EU deadline in 2021, the government said on Tuesday.

People visit a contemporary sculpture exhibition at the ancient Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens, Greece, on June 25. Photo: Xinhua

Greeks, who are heavy coffee drinkers, annually require 350 million plastic cups and 2 billion plastic bottles, the environment ministry said. In the European Union, about 80 percent of the litter that ends in the sea, endangering marine life, is plastic.

The EU is to ban a range of single-use plastic items by 2021.

Conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has set environmental issues at the top of his agenda. The government hopes the bill will be voted on by the end of July following a period of public consultation, an official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Environment Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said Greece was a laggard compared with some EU countries and belonged "more to the 19th century" when it came to recycling.

He said the country was announcing its plans now to give people and businesses time to adapt by July 2021.

The minister announced a set of national measures, including a 0.04 euro (4 cents) surcharge for the provision of plastic cups from 2022.
Newspaper headline: Greece to ban single-use plastic items

Posted in: EUROPE

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