Greeks Shun Plastic Bags in Record Numbers



The use of plastic bags in Greece has dropped sharply following the introduction of a so-called eco-tax of €0.4 ($0.47) for every bag, introduced in the beginning of 2018.

According to data collated by the Research Institute of Retail Consumer Goods (IELKA) the usage of plastic bags in ten leading supermarkets in the first quarter of the year fell by 76 percent, in comparison with the same period a year earlier.

IELKA’s Lefteris Kioses said that, if the current trend continues, 1.5 billion fewer plastic bags will be used in 2018.

Charging the eco-tax, the government hopes to reduce the use of plastic bags and tackle environmental issues.

Athens aims to reduce the use of plastic bags per person by 75 percent by the end of 2020 and by 90 percent per person by 2025, according to 2015 EU directives.

Greeks use plastic bags twice as much as the European average.

An average Greek uses 242 to 363 plastic bags per year; estimates speak of more than four billion plastic bags on annual basis.