Greek plastic bag industries are reporting an annual decline in output by 80 percent in the first quarter of the year as a result of the imposition of an environmental tax on the commodity from January 1, 2018.
This dramatic shrinking in production is about to lead to the shutdown of at least three small companies in the sector, according to informed sources.
Supermarkets and other retail outlets charge between four and nine euro cents per plastic bag, including value-added tax and depending on their size.
Ioannis Kaselimis, a representative of the Association of Hellenic Plastic Industries (SVPE), told Kathimerini that after the harmonization of the national legislation with the European Union directives, the industries that continue to produce plastic bags do so only when they have a specific delivery date for their orders.
While there is no environmental tax imposed on thicker plastic bags which retailers are allowed to charge as they like, their orders are not enough to offset the losses from the dramatic decline in the production of the conventional, thin plastic bags. According to plastic industry insiders, it is only medium-sized supermarket chains that have shown an increase in orders for the thicker bags.