The Ministry of environment and energy of Greece launched a campaign of "Greece is no plastic one-time use" start gave her Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, who, along with volunteers of non-profit organizations on Saturday morning came to the beach Shinya in Eastern Attica to collect the garbage.

"We are moving forward with projects to avoid disposable plastic" – said the Minister.

As reported by the press service of the Ministry, the refusal relates to the nine types of plastic products, among them food containers and cups made of polystyrene foam, cotton buds, disposable Cutlery (forks, knives, spoons) and plates, straws for drinks.

A month later, on behalf of the Prime Minister, Greece will include in the bill the relevant European community Directive for its introduction from July 2021. In the public sector, the removal of disposable plastic starts six months earlier, i.e. from January 2021.

The Ministry plans to encourage recycling of plastic bottles of water and drinks. The plastic bottle will be the payment of a few cents, and every citizen who gets them, gets the money back. The Minister said that the market there is enough time to get rid of the existing accumulated disposable plastics, and to prepare for new environmentally friendly alternatives.

"We are implementing the relevant Community Directive on the withdrawal of disposable plastics not only because this is required by EU directives, but also because we deeply believe in this policy. It is a green policy and a policy aimed at the protection of the environment," said Hatzidakis.

Announcing the beginning of the campaign, Hatzidakis cited figures that show the extent of the problem with plastic.

Every year in Europe is going to more than 26 million tons of plastic waste, of which less than a third is recycled. According to the EU, 85% of marine debris is plastic. 50% of marine debris – disposable plastic, and another 27% – fishing tackle.

In Greece use about 1 million plastic cups every day, for example, for coffee, or 350 million plastic cups a year.

Fight against plastic

Greece a few years ago began to limit the consumption of plastic. From 1 January 2018 in Greece, introduced an environmental tax on thin plastic bags to limit their consumption as a major means of environmental pollution. Each package was required to pay 4 cents. Simultaneously, the government stimulated their disposal and use reusable bags. In 2019 disposable plastic bags in supermarkets has risen to 9 cents.

As reported RIA Novosti, former first Deputy Minister of energy and OCD��environmental Sokratis Famellos, the consumption of plastic bags in Greece for the half year decreased by 80% after 1 January 2018 adopted a number of measures to limit their consumption and imposed environmental tax.

According to a study by the EU until 2010 in Greece with a population of about 11 million people annually used 242 of the package per person. In 2015, according to the research Institute of retail consumer goods (IELKA), Greece had already 363 package per person, compared to 175 the EU average. In 2017 in Greece used about 4.5 billion packages each year, or about 400 units per year per person.

In accordance with the European directives from 2015, the Greek authorities aimed to reduce the use of up to 90 packages per person (75%) until the end of 2020 and to 40 (90%) by 2025.

Plastic bags, bottles, cups have become a major environmental problem all over the world — they decompose tens or hundreds of years, causing irreparable harm to marine ecosystems and birds, pollute the sea, beach, forest.

The world’s oceans, scientists estimate that each year falls between 4.8 and 12.7 million tonnes of plastic. According to environmentalists, the Mediterranean sea "drowning in plastic," a quarter of fish in the Mediterranean sea may contain small amounts of plastic. Half of the garbage in the sea in Greece is plastic bags. The amount of the charge from the bottom of the plastic bag 10 times more than its production. Only 1% of plastic bags are recycled.