3.1. How much plastic waste is produced in EU?
In the European Union (EU 27), it is estimated that around 25 Mt of plastic waste was generated in 2008. Of this 12.1 Mt (48.7%) was landfilled while 12.8 Mt (51.3%) went to recovery, and only 5.3 Mt (21.3%) was recycled. While a projection to 2015 assumes an overall increase of 30 % in the level of mechanical recycling (from 5.3 Mt to 6.9 Mt), landfilling and incineration with energy recovery are expected to remain the predominant waste management pathways. Particularly for Greece and Cyprus the latest available data (2012) for plastic packaging indicates that only 32.4% and 38.1% accordingly is recycled while the rest ends up in landfills. 

3.2. Which regulation addresses plastic waste?
Plastic waste is not specifically addressed by EU legislation despite its growing environmental impact. Only the Packaging Directive 94/62/EC has a specific recycling target for plastic packaging. The Framework Directive on waste 2008/98/EC sets a general recycling target for household waste which covers, among other materials, plastic waste. The Waste Framework Directive establishes also extended producer responsibility as a key principle in waste management. It also sets out the waste hierarchy giving precedence to waste prevention, reuse and recycling over recovery, including energy recovery, and disposal. There persists, however, a sharp contrast between legislative requirements and actual waste management practice. 

3.3. Do plastic bags pose a serious danger for the environment?
Plastic bags are commercially successful due to their low weight and resistance to degradation, features that have contributed to their proliferation. It is estimated that in 2010 every EU citizen used 198 plastic carrier bags, some 90% of which were estimated to be lightweight bags; these are less frequently re-used than thicker bags and more prone to littering. In a business-as-usual scenario the consumption of plastic bags is expected to increase further. Estimates also suggest that in 2010, over 8 billion plastic carrier bags were littered in the EU. They escape waste management streams and accumulate in our environment, especially in the form of marine litter, which is increasingly recognized to be a major global challenge. There also is documented evidence indicating large debris accumulation in European seas. The problem of plastic bag waste in water ecosystems does not affect only countries with a marine coastline, as a considerable amount of the waste from land reaches the sea through rivers. Once discarded, plastic carrier bags can last for hundreds of years, mostly in fragmented form. The very high and still increasing consumption of such bags is also sub-optimal from a resource efficiency perspective. 

3.4. What about plastic bottles?
Plastic bottles along with plastic bags are the most prevalent form of pollution found on our beaches and in our oceans according to the US Ocean Conservator.  Water bottles are mostly made of completely recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics, but PETs don't biodegrade they photodegrade, which means they break down into smaller fragments over time. Those fragments absorb toxins that pollute the waterways, contaminate the soil, and sicken animals. Plastic waste also absorbs organic pollutants like BPA and PCBs. They may take centuries to decompose while sitting in landfills. According to Canadian Liquid Intelligence more than 160 billion lt of bottled water were consumed globally in 2010. Greece is ranked 6th among the top bottled water markets worldwide by per capita consumption which amounts to a consumption of 111litres of bottled water per capita. As less than one third is recycled in Greece the rest of it ends up in landfills or in marine environment. The environmental threats of plastic bottles are more acute during the summer due to the high temperatures, the arrival of tourists and the fact that most islands lack the infrastructure for drinkable tap water.