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10th July, 2019

Greenpeace objects to plastic bags

Greenpeace activists installed statues of whales trapped in plastic and other waste products outside Parliament on Kossuth tér on Tuesday to draw attention to the problem of worldwide plastic pollution.

Greenpeace chemical expert Gergely Simon stressed that the stunt is part of a drive for a plastic-free July.

This is a good opportunity for individuals to say No to disposable plastic bags but that is not enough in itself, he said, as much more comprehensive changes are needed.

Greenpeace Magyarország expects the government to take action and demands a ban on plastic bags in a petition which has been signed by nearly 200,000 people.

Simon told a press briefing that so far several countries have taken effective steps against plastic contamination, for instance in Romania the distribution of throwaway bags has been considerably restricted from this year, while in Austria it was recently decided to completely ban plastic bags, whereas Hungary has done nothing against plastic pollution.

He said annually 300 million tons of plastic are produced in Hungary, about half of which is disposable.

According to a recent report the Danube delivers 4.2 tons of plastic waste to the Black Sea every day, “so we are also contributing to the plastic pollution,” Simon warned.

The whales will be on display outside the church on Deák Ferenc tér on Wednesday.

Sources regularly consulted, with abbreviations used in text: Népszabadság (N); Magyar Hírlap (MH); Világgazdaság (VG); Napi Gazdaság (NG); Magyar Nemzet (MN); Népszava (Nsz); Kossuth Rádió news (KR); nightly TV news (TV).

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