Greece will have to pay about 127 million euros to the EU this year due to its poor performance in recycling plastic packaging.
The fine aims to promote plastic recycling throughout the EU.
Plastic is an important and ubiquitous material in our economy and daily life. However, the current production, use and disposal of plastics often do great damage to the environment. The millions of tons of plastic waste that eventually enters the ocean every year is one of the most obvious and worrying signs of these problems, and has also attracted more and more public attention.
In December 2015, the European Commission adopted the EU circular economy action plan. The plan identified plastic recycling as a key issue and promised to "develop a strategy to address the challenges posed by plastics throughout the value chain and take into account their entire life cycle". In 2017, the European Commission confirmed that it will focus on the production and use of recyclable plastics and strive to achieve the goal of ensuring that all plastic packaging can be recycled by 2030.
The strategy sets out key commitments for comprehensive action at the EU level. However, EU national authorities, regions, cities and the private sector, as well as citizens, also need to be mobilized.
According to the study on the role of plastics in Greece's circular economy prepared by IOBE, a Greek think tank, on behalf of svpe, a Greek Plastics Industry Association, about 43000 tons of plastic packaging are neither buried nor recycled every year.
Greece still has a long way to go to fully realize the recycling of plastics.