Greek Consumers Use 80% Fewer Plastic Bags While Shopping: Study

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Greek Consumers Use 80% Fewer Plastic Bags While Shopping: Study

ΙΕΛΚΑ, the Greek consumer goods research institute, has found that Greek consumers used 80.3% fewer plastic bags while shopping in supermarkets over the course of 2018, following the introduction of a 4c levy on single-use bags.

The Greek government announced a doubling of the levy on plastic bags as of 1 January, to 9c per single-use plastic bag.

Overall, Greek consumers used 350 million plastic bags last year, or 33 bags per person, compared to 1.8 billion plastic bags (167 per person) in 2017.

At the same time, ΙΕΛΚΑ found that the use of reusable bags rose by 1,128%, with 11.55 million bags used – up from 0.95 million the previous year.

This equates to about 2.8 reusable bags per household, or 1.1 per individual.


'Extensive Implementation'

The study noted 'extensive implementation' of the measure, with differentiation depending on industry and region. Urban centres were found to have implemented the measure more vigorously than rural areas.

'On this basis, it is estimated that the percentage reduction in the use of plastic bags in overall retail channels is smaller than supermarkets, given the fact that legislation excludes from imposing environmental end street markets and kiosks,' ΙΕΛΚΑ noted.

'Given that the supermarket channel accounts for only 50% of [the] sales of food retail, and even less of the total retail and foodservice, it is estimated that the total percentage reduction in plastic transport bag is considerably smaller,' it added.

According to the EU, member states are required take measures to ensure that the annual consumption level does not exceed 90 single-use plastic bags per capita by the end of 2019.

© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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