According to a recent study conducted by SETE, Greece’s Association of Tourism Enterprises, each tourist who visited Greece in 2018 left behind an average of two kilograms of rubbish.
In 2018 alone, more than 33 million people visited the country, either as part of the regular vacation industry or as passengers on cruise ships.
This number of visitors, along with the country’s own domestic problems regarding the issue of trash, places a massive burden on the environment of Greece.
According to SETE, Greece must alter its direction to take a more environmentally-friendly approach in its tourism policy, in order to meet the demands of our times in tackling this global issue.
It is crucial to mention here that, according to a series of recent surveys, more than one out of two tourists in Europe now seeks hotels and other types of accommodation which incorporate some sort of environmentally-friendly practices.
It is clear that many travelers today are more environmentally aware than ever, and are ready to take on some degree of responsibility in their travel choices.
This could either mean that the facility uses energy from renewable sources, or has recycling facilities or other means of helping reduce rubbish and plastic pollution, or has limited its CO2 emissions in some way.
However, apart from the many tourists the nation hosts every year, Greek citizens themselves are becoming increasingly more aware of the consequences of the limitless use of plastics, as well as pollution in general.
Recently, the Greek government announced that it will completely ban single-use plastics by June of 2021 in order to tackle pollution from plastics.
This will gradually start beginning in 2020, one year before the EU deadline for a complete ban of single-use plastics across the European Union.