As a survey finds 60% of Greeks bring waste to blue recycling dumpsters on a daily basis, the environment ministry announces it is seeking a voluntary agreement with the retail industry in order to limit the use of plastic bags
Have you fed your recycling bin lately? The number of Greeks who recycle at least once per month has increased by almost 50% during the last seven years, according to a survey conducted by Public Issue for WWF Hellas, yet most household waste continues to be dumped in landfills.
According to the findings of the survey, conducted on June 11-19 on a sample of 1,009 people in different cities, the percentage of Greeks who recycle at least once per month is estimated at 86% compared to 58% in 2007.
However, the percentage of people recycling almost on a daily basis is approximately 58%. Some 13% of respondents said they don’t recycle at all or are not aware of recycling. About 1% said there were no recycling bins in their area.
In terms of material, 90% of respondents said they recycled paper and 64% plastic materials. These were followed by metal (49%), glass (49%) and batteries (44%). However, only 13% said they had recycled electrical or electronic devices in the previous month.
According to the European Commission, in 2010 every Greek produced an average of 457kg of household waste, up from 416kg in 2001. While the EU has set a target of recycling 50% of household waste by 2020, WWF says Greece will have extreme difficulty in attaining this goal as four-fifths of household currently ends up in landfill.
Meanwhile, the environment ministry announced it is seeking a voluntary agreement with the retail industry in order to limit the use of plastic bags.
In a document tabled in parliament, it said 184,915 tonnes of plastic packaging, including plastic bags, were used in 2012.
Reducing the use of packaging materials is one of the four main priorities of the National Waste Prevention Programme, which provides for measures aimed at raising consumers’ awareness regarding the use of plastic bags.