Greek Environment and Energy Minister Explains EU Directive on Disposable Plastics

Energy Minister Costis Hatzidakis. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Yiannis Panagopoulos)

ATHENS – Environment and Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis explained on Tuesday in a conference the details of the EU directive on disposable plastics.

The European directive seeks to adopt a new culture in the production and consumption of disposable plastic products, the minister noted. He clarified that plastic was not being entirely abolished but only disposable plastic products. He added that the government does not want to take businesses by surprise but wants businesses and consumers to be as well informed as possible, so that the relevant framework in Greece is absolutely clear by July 2021, when the directive comes into force. According to Hatzidakis, this effort will include consultations with groups of stakeholders.

“Our decision is to promote the circular economy through innovative, environmentally friendly products,” Hatzidakis said.

According to the executive director of the Laskaridis Foundation, Dr. Angeliki Kosmopoulou, meanwhile, disposable plastics are one of the top causes of marine pollution. “The EU, in its directive, reminds us that disposable plastics are responsible for 50 pct of coastal pollution. According to the latest scientific research, these plastics are in the top 10 of products that significantly damage the marine ecosystem and product economy. The blue economy in Greece loses almost 26 million euros a year due to plastic pollution,” she said.