Move Made to Rid Monastiraki Square of Plastics

February 23, 2020

ATHENS – With the New Democracy government promising to ban single-use plastics by June, 2021 one of the first targets will be the tourist haven of Monastiraki Square in the Greek capital, being pushed by local businesses.

The 360 cafe-bar and the Aegean Rebreath group have joined in the effort to clear the popular spot which is mobbed at the height of tourist season, the main square already turning grimy and graffiti-covered and plastic bottles everywhere.

The plan is to make it a “plastic-free” zone through education if not enforcement, said Kathimerini in a report on the scheme that is aimed at informing shops and businesses about alternatives to plastic.

“The challenges for catering professionals in minimizing the use of plastics are great. For us it’s a culture call,” said Giorgos Panagos, Director of the 360 cafe-bar, saying that despite the government plan that many cafes and restaurants aren’t aware or prepared.

The City of Athens has said it will back the initiative. “We support the effort to provide information and of course we will showcase any local effort,” also added Deputy Mayor Nikos Avramidis.

In October, 2019, three months after ousting the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA, the New Democracy administration said the end of single-use plastics was coming, with Environment Minister Kostis Hatzidakis saying that, “Thirty-nine tons of plastic waste ends up in the sea in Greece, every day, and a lot of it turns into fish food.”

He further added that “The fight against plastic pollution is a government priority,” reported the site The EU Mayor, as he said he wants cooperation between the state, private sector, NGOs and citizens.

Hatzidakis said he wants “a gradual stop” of the use of single-use plastics even by the end of this year before the 2021 deadline set by the European Union in a directive aimed at stopping the use of single-use plastics, such as bottles, straws and other products.

A study at the time by the environmental group WWF said Greece produces around 700,000 tons of plastic waste every year or 68 kilos per person, while some 11,500 tons of that trash goes into Greek seas, with Greeks using about 300 plastic bags annually.

The report also showed that Greece has low levels of separate collection culture and low citizen participation with about half of all waste in blue bins for recycling being contaminated with rubbish because people won’t make the effort of using rubbish bins.

Another study by the Association of Tourism Enterprises, each of the 33 million tourists who came in 2019 would leave behind an average of two kilograms (4.4 pounds) of wastek.


ATHENS - The Greek Parliament plenary approved funding for print media on Tuesday that will help them overcome financial problems resulting from the energy crisis.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.


Mission…to Alonnisos, a TNH Documentary

O oceanic you sing and sail White on your body and yellow on your chimeneas For you're tired of the filthy waters of the harbors You who loved the distant Sporades You who lifted the tallest flags You who sail clear through the most dangerous caves Hail to you who let yourself be charmed by the sirens Hail to you for never having been afraid of the Symplegades (Andreas Empeirikos)   What traveler has not been fascinated by the Greek islands, drawn by the Sirens’ song of a traveler’s dreams? TNH and our video show ‘Mission’ marked the change of the season by transporting viewers into the heart of summer.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.