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Greece to impose “PVC Recycling fee” on plastic bottles as of June 1

A new tax for “recycling” of plastic with PVC will be imposed as of June 1, 2022, the Greek government has announced. The tax will be collected and forwarded to the public revenues with the sole purpose to finance recycling actions.

The tax or “recycling fee” is set at 0.08 euros for every packaging of products containing PVC (polyvinyl-chloride), a material that in fact cannot be recycled.

Companies are required to indicate at the points of sale of the products, in a place visible to the consumer, that these products are subject to a fee, indicating the amount of the fee.

Consumers will see in the receipts a tax of 0.08 euros that will be also subject to Value Added Tax, meaning the extra charge will be 10 cents.

As stated in the relevant explanatory memorandum “from 1 June 2022 recycling fee for plastic bottles labeled with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), in order to discourage their use, since it is not technically possible to separate the label [material] and therefore their recycling.”

The “recycling fee” mostly affects plastic bottles labeled with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and is based on the EU Directive (Par. 1 of Article 4 of Directive 94/62 / EC as amended by par. 3 of Article 1 of Directive (EU) 2018/852)

From 1 June 2022, producers and importers of packaging of products, part of the packaging of which contains polyvinyl chloride (PVC), are prohibited from affixing either on the packaging itself or on its label, a mark on the recyclability of the packaging, the relevant ministerial decision notes, among others.

The new “fee” comes in addition to the recent environmental fees for plastic in coffee to go, food delivery and other plastic packaging, imposed in Greece since 1. January 2022.

With this fee and that levy, your meal incl a bottle of water and a coffee will rise by 30 cents.

PS After years we disposed thousands of water bottles to recycling bin, we find out we did it in vain. And why do they call it “recycling fee” when PVC cannot be “recycled”? And why consumers have to pay for it and not the packaging companies that are solely responsible for its use? HelloooOOOooo!?

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2 comments

  1. It’s not about the bottles we disposed in the recycling bin, it’s about the bottles which didn’t find their way back to the bin…
    And there ARE processes to recycle PVC or at least repurpose the materials.
    Still I think this “tax” is bullshit. It will not return even one bottle more to the recycling plants.

    Only way to “educate” people is to raise a deposit on bottle sales which is refunded if you bring back the bottle to a shop. In Germany we pay 25 cent per PVC bottle (more than the value of a bottle of water) and get it back when returning the bottle to a shop (doesn’t need the same one we bought it from) for over two decades now. Still has some flaws, though.

    Of course that requires a lot of infrastructure to start with and I can already hear the super markets crying should such a system get implemented in Greece.

  2. AFAIK, these water bottles are not made from PVC. It is quite rare to find PVC anywhere today. But dumb government won’t know that! They will tax all things plastic of any composition.
    And yes PVC can be recycled. So can PET (bottle) and PE (top) which most water bottles are actually made from.