Presentation of the investigation “Tracing the Path of Greece’s Plastic Waste”

Where does our recycled plastic waste end up?

In an effort to shed light on the often dark journey of plastic waste, iMEdD and Solomon organised on Thursday 21 March, a presentation event of the research entitled “Tracing the Path of Greece’s Plastic Waste”.

Access the investigation here.

The open event served as a platform for the presentation of the research conducted by Alexia Kalaitzi, Giorgos Christides and Alexandros Avramidis, as part of the 4th cycle of the iMEdD incubator, which focused on climate inequity.

“The word experimentation is rather a building block of iMEdD’s DNA, as we prefer not to stick to the beaten track, but to experiment. That’s why we decided to experiment in the 4th incubator cycle, with a call that had different characteristics from the ones we had known until then, announcing the first thematic incubator dedicated exclusively to journalistic projects on “Climate Inequity” – a broad theme with political, social and economic, implications”.

Nikolas Aronis, Project Manager ideas zone & incubator, Journalist

Nikos Charalambides, Executive Director of Greenpeace Greece, contributed to the discussion with his valuable knowledge, while the discussion was moderated by Solomon’s journalist Iliana Papangeli.

The research delved into the complex routes of plastic waste, using innovative methods such as GPS tracking to trace its path from blue bins to its final destination. By meticulously mapping the journey of plastic waste, the research aimed to reveal what really happens during the recycling process in Greece and the European Union.

“The most difficult thing was to find the data. It was incomplete and not reliable enough to draw conclusions.”

Alexandros Avramidis, Photojournalist

“The volume of waste we produce is much greater than the mechanisms can handle.”

Nikos Charalambides, Director General of Greenpeace Greece

One of the primary objectives of the research was to estimate the percentage of plastic waste that is effectively recycled, both at national and European level. Furthermore, through thorough data collection and analysis, the reporter-researchers sought to identify the factors hindering effective plastic waste reduction initiatives across Europe, as well as the fate of plastics that are not recycled, shedding light on the environmental impacts of untreated plastic waste.

Plastic waste routes have become a commercial product and the environmental dimension plays a secondary role.”

Giorgos Christides, Journalist

Investigative journalists, journalists covering environmental issues, photojournalists, activists and active members of society, as well as representatives from major organisations that contribute to raising awareness on the critical issue of plastic waste management, participated in the event. By playing an active role in the discussion, participants were provided with valuable insights to inform future policy interventions and sustainability initiatives.