Greeks Turn Their Backs on Plastic Shopping Bags



The use of light plastic bags plunged an amazing 98.6 percent in Greek supermarkets in 2019 compared with 2017, the Research Institute of Retail Consumer Goods (IELKA) said in a report released on Wednesday.

According to the report, Greek households have purchased more than 17 million reusable bags in the last three years.

The organization’s report is based on figures collected by large supermarket chains in 2019, accompanied by estimates regarding trends prevailing at other retail sales points.

Approximately 1.75 billion fewer light plastic bags were distributed in the country in 2017, with the per capita consumption of plastic bags in supermarkets falling precipitously — from 167 to two.

The distribution of biodegradable light plastic bags, which was just over zero percent in 2017, soared to 37 million units in 2019.

The IELKA said that this drastic change in consumers’ purchasing behavior also affected other aspects of daily life in Greece, with the number of garbage bags rising 40 percent in 2019 compared with 2017.