Greece consumes about 0,6 million tonnes of plastics per year and recycles 20% of this. A clean-up survey of 80 beaches in Greece showed that the most abundant litter material was plastic (43–51%), followed by paper (13–
18%) and aluminium (7–12%). Top items found in Greek beaches are cigarette butts, bottle caps, straws and stirrers, plastic bottles, food wrappers and plastic bags. Plastic waste management and recycling are included in the National Solid Waste Strategy and the National Strategic Solid Waste Prevention Programme. Greece has a target of 65% plastic packaging recycling by 2020, but it is far from reaching it. The current solid waste management system is inefficient and non-transparent, and lacks ambition on plastics waste prevention and reuse.
The report, ‘Solving the problem of plastic pollution by taking responsibility’, finds that too much responsibility for reducing plastic pollution is currently falling on consumers and the waste management system, stressing that efforts to tackle the problem will remain as long as no measures are taken for the entire value chain of plastics.
“It is necessary that all those contributing to the global problem of plastic pollution – be it governments, businesses, the waste management industry or end-users – should fully assume their responsibilities, considering the long-term cost of plastics in nature and people “is highlighted in the report.
WWF warns that if there are no drastic changes, there is a risk that more than 104 million tons of plastic waste will be leaked to the environment in 2030, while plastic waste in the marine environment is expected to reach 300 million tons by 2030.
At the same time, 75% of the world’s produced plastics are now waste, and at least 1/3 of them have already come to nature, with disastrous consequences for ecosystems and wildlife.
According to official records, plastic waste has caused injuries or killing more than 270 wildlife while greenhouse gas emissions from the production and burning of plastic are expected to increase by 50% over the next few years.
Especially for Greece, it is noted that, according to World Bank data, the country continues to bury most of its plastic waste , working inefficiently on the recycling segment. In addition, it is recommended for the country to properly record the plastic waste it produces and manages, as the discrepancy between the quantities appearing in the Recyclable Materials Collection Centers (KDAM) and the quantities reported in its national reports is significant.
“In recent times, the global and European communities have been mobilizing to reduce plastic pollution and reduce disposable plastic consumption. The recent agreement in the EU on a new directive to prevent the introduction of a series of disposable plastics shows the way. However, the country is in danger of finding itself unprepared if it does not proceed to a radical restructuring of the solid waste management system, “the WWF report said, adding:
“Creating a separate stream for plastic waste, taking legislative initiatives to set targets and measures to reduce the consumption of unnecessary disposable plastics, expanding the responsibility of plastic waste producers, labeling plastic packaging, introducing new sorting mechanisms, such as return financing schemes, the imposition of fines on non-cooperating companies and municipalities, the public presentation of the performance of municipal authorities in the equal and recycling plastic waste, informing citizens and providing incentives for ecological design of plastics and packaging, are some of the measures that should be taken. ”
Source – iefimerida.gr