An environmental NGO founded in 1990, for the protection of nature and sustainable use of 3 sources (water, energy and waste). Specialized in local and regional actions and part of an international network that we use such as Zero Waste. Very productive in the area of waste reduction and the reduction of use of plastic and plastic bags, home composting, pay as you throw system, preparation of reduction system for waste electrical equipment, recycling in general, promoting Zero Waste in Greek municipalities. Creation of many awareness campaigns, working with schools with a large environment educational program. Participate to many national actions in order to reduce use of plastic bags in Greece.
Large experience in working with local authorities, governmental bodies, municipalities and the civil society. Production of guidelines for municipalities and the private sector such as restaurants and the hospitality sector to minimize their waste and make a better waste management. Also run an observatory for the implementation of circular economy in Greece. Municipalities have to change their waste management habits in order to respect the circular economy principles and the preservation of resources in the economic cycle.
Today municipalities have to move to separate collection : plastic, glass, metal and paper while they have to implement a separate organic collection by 2022. They have to enforce these regulations and create new infrastructure and implement green points, recycling corners. They have to also increase preparation for use and reused by 55 % by 2025 according to the EU directives and they have a unique opportunity now as they move forward with the program “pay as you throw system”. They also have to implement the national waste reduction and prevention program. This is challenging for municipalities and there is a lack of initiatives in this direction. Some places, like islands, don’t have the right infrastructure to send waste outside: it is a problematic and costly process. Also a problem in terms of capacity in personnel and funding to timely and quickly move towards better waste management and separation of source. Need to solve these problems in order to go towards an effective waste management policy. Need to focus on municipal collection and extension of ETR.
At a local level, municipalities and communities need to work together towards reducing the residual waste they produce and generate and increase the reused structure of that waste. The advantage is that the effects are immediate by making a long-term zero waste plan. We need to extract less resources. The municipalities doing that are making a long term commitment to never stop planning and strategizing on the reduction of their consumption of resources, and a more sustainable use of it, waste, but not only waste.
From July 2021, single use plastic articles such as cutlery, plates, straws, glasses will be illegal and discount done for those not using single use items, this option must be available. In 2022 there will be a 4% tax on single use plastic articles. In January 2023, the return plastic bottle system will be obligatory in Greece. The national goal is to achieve a reduction of 30% by 2024 and 60% by 2026.
We urgently need to have Elafonisos municipality sign for this waste management program and also have the public participate as well which is essential.