Greek market gears up to adjust to single-use plastics ban

Greek market gears up to adjust to single-use plastics ban

The Greek market appears ready to rise to the challenge set by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis regarding a forthcoming ban on all single-use plastics, business representatives told Xinhua.

Mitsotakis announced last Monday from New York, where he was for the UN Climate Action Summit, that single-use plastics will be banned across Greece as of 2021.

Greece has already made some progress in this regard by charging users of plastic carrier bags with an environmental tax over the last couple of years, in compliance with a European Union directive.

This measure reduced single-use plastic bags by an estimated 80 to 85 percent in 2018, compared to the year before, according to a survey by the Institute of Retail Consumer Goods (IELKA).

Applying a ban to all types of single-use plastics, such as cups, bottles, straws and other commodities of everyday use may seem more difficult, but it is entirely feasible for Greece, said Ilianna Kosta, a product designer of a local manufacturer of bamboo-made biodegradable utensils.

"The Greek market is working very hard to show progress in this respect, and is advancing fast. Local business has made a dynamic entry in environment-friendly products and the Greek society has also matured toward that," Kosta told Xinhua.

"We get so much more interest from various businesses for our plastic-free products, and several other companies like ours have sprung out after we launched our business in 2016," said Kosta, affirming her certainty that the challenge for the ban of single-use plastics can indeed be met within two years.

Athens International Airport (AIA) spokesman Ioakim Tsimbidis told Xinhua that the main Greek airport has proceeded with banning single-use plastics from the employees' food service areas, while the food service companies for passengers have also proceeded to the replacement of single-use plastics with environmentally friendly choices.

Companies are now going out of their way to ensure they reduce the use of plastic, often encouraging each other to do so, according to Tsimbidis.

AIA and food service companies at the terminal "are together examining further action aimed at completely eradicating single-use plastics in the coming years," Tsimbidis said.


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