Greece is advancing on plans to ban single-use plastics by July of 2021. A law drafted by the country’s Environment Ministry aims to mitigate the harm certain plastic items cause to the environment.
Single-use items like straws, plastic eating utensils, plates, drink containers will be prohibited by law after mid-summer 2021. The government was planning to promote the use of oxo-biodegradable bags as an “ecological” alternative to ordinary bags until it was discovered that they too were harmful to the environment.
Greece has already forced businesses to charge customers who want plastic bags but didn’t ban them in favor of reusable carriers such as cloth, but the measure still reducing single-use plastic bags up to 85 percent, according to the Institute of Retail Consumer Goods (IELKA).
Back in May of this year, Environment & Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said the ban will cover plastics used only once before they are thrown away or recycled, including plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles and most food packaging. The minister went on to say:
“[Plastics use]…cannot continue, so we are moving ahead with this initiative, which the prime minister himself has strongly supported, and which must be done in tandem with citizens.”
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has put such environmental issues at the top of his administration’s agenda. Athens now hopes the bill will be voted on by the end of July following a period of public consultation.
Editor’s Note: The post was updated because of an error in referencing oxo-biodegradable bags as a governmental alternative. The post now reflects that these bags are harmful as well.
Source: The National Herald