LIFE Project Cover Photo

Circular Economy Implementation in Greece

Reference: LIFE18 IPE/GR/000013 | Acronym: LIFE-IP CEI-Greece



The National Action Plan on Circular Economy (NAPCE), was developed as Greeces response to the EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy. It was endorsed by the Governmental Economic Policy Council in 2018. The NAPCE details short-term priority interventions aimed at the promotion of the circular economy in Greece. The strategic long-term goals for 2030 included in the NAPCE focus on, amongst others, further applying the waste hierarchy, focusing on the prevention of waste production, recycling and supporting circular economy consumption patterns of re-using, re-storing and repairing especially for electrical and electronic equipment.

The National Waste Management Plan (NWMP) and its accompanying National Strategic Plan for Waste Prevention (NSPWP) have a five-year horizon (2015-2020). Both national plans have been revised with a time horizon up to 2030, taking into account the EU Circular Economy legislative package. The new NWMP 2020-2030 was ratified in September 2020, whilst the new National Waste Prevention Programme (NWPP) for 2021-2030 was approved by the Council of Ministers in June 2021. 

These two plans set the policy directions on waste management at the national level. They also provide general guidelines, by indicating the appropriate measures and actions to achieve the targets set in the new Waste Framework Law 4819/2021 (enforcing the EU Waste Framework Directive and its amendments).

In line with the provisions of the past NWMP 2015-2020, 13 Regional Waste Management Plans (RWMPs) have been drafted (one for each Region) and ratified. Local management plans (municipality level) were also assessed in the context of drafting RWMPs. In 2017, almost 80% of municipal waste produced was landfilled, even though with a slightly decreasing trend since 2015. It is evident that additional effort is needed to achieve waste management targets set by the national and EU legislation. Furthermore, in order to lay the foundations for the implementation of the circular economy principles, a resource management concept that moves beyond the traditional waste management practices should be established, focusing on waste prevention and re-use.


The main objective of the LIFE-IP CEI-Greece project is to reduce the amount of municipal waste sent to landfill and to promote waste prevention and re-use, based on circular economy principles. Specifically, the project will:

  • implement concrete waste management actions in line with the waste hierarchy principles, to ensure waste diversion to the levels set by national and EU law;
  • develop demonstration project actions in four targeted fields (waste food prevention, reuse, hazardous household waste management, economic incentives), in nine municipalities (5 islands, 1 mountainous, 3 urban) and one region (Western Macedonia);
  • enhance the use of economic instruments in support of the circular economy, as well as of secondary materials' standards in this context;
  • develop a specific Food Waste Prevention Programme at national level and guide the revision of the waste management plans in due time;
  • build-up a knowledge base to support the monitoring of the circular economy, particularly in the field of waste management;
  • improve awareness of key stakeholders, authorities and the general public on the concept of the circular economy and its implication for waste management;
  • mobilise external financial resources to enable the creation of the necessary supportive infrastructure for the implementation of the NWMP; and
  • disseminate the project results, and organise capacity building workshops, to ensure their implementation and replication in other regions.
  • In addition to the IP budget itself, the project will facilitate the coordinated use of 800 309 080 EUR of complementary funding from the ESIF (European Structural and Investment Funds) and national funds.


    Expected results:

  • the establishment of three Enhanced Green Centres (EGCs) (one in the Municipality of Thessaloniki and two in the broader Athens area), estimated to serve a population of over 100 000 inhabitants in each. The waste collection rate of EGCs, destined for reuse and recycling is estimated at 8 250 tn in total, while the estimated quantities for preparation for reuse equal to 1 650 tn in total;
  • five Integrated Waste Management systems in four islands and one mountainous area to increase the amount of waste prepared for reuse and recycling by at least 55%, reduce the amount landfilled and therefore its environmental impacts, create at least 94 jobs, and promote behavioural change through an intensive communication campaign;
  • two integrated Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection and management systems, in the Region of Western Macedonia and in the Municipality of Athens, covering at least 60% of both areas populations and reaching at least 50% separate collection rates, with total managed HHW quantities of around 1700 tn and4 000 tn, respectively;
  • full implementation of a Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) system in the Municipality of Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni serving approximately 48 000 inhabitants;
  • the first baseline study for food waste generation in Greece in specific sectors (post-harvest losses, food processing industry, wholesale and retailers, households, and hospitality/catering sector);
  • creation of a platform for food waste prevention, linking at least 1 000 donors (producers, retailers, hospitality and catering sector) with 500 charities (social organisations, institutions and communities in need), to redistribute at least 40 tn of surplus food per year;
  • a Food Waste Prevention Forum to be adopted by different sectors and stakeholders involved in the food waste generation chain;
  • a Repair and Reuse Experiential Park in Thessaloniki for recovery of materials, reuse, preparing for reuse, sharing, and donations;
  • assessment for the development of National Circular Economy indicators to secure the integration of the NWMP and the NWPP with the NAPCE;
  • development of a web-based National Circular Economy Repository; and
  • ten new standards to enable the harmonisation of definitions and classifications of products/by-products, end-of-waste criteria, and the drafting of qualitative standards for secondary raw materials.

    Reference: LIFE18 IPE/GR/000013
    Acronym: LIFE-IP CEI-Greece
    Start Date: 15/07/2019
    End Date: 31/10/2027
    Total Eligible Budget: 15,934,810 €
    EU Contribution: 9,560,739 €
    Project Location:


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Ministry of Environment and Energy
    Legal Status: PUBLIC
    Contact Person: Eleni KAMPRAGOU
    Email: Send Email

    LIFE Project Map



    • Circular economy and Value chains
    • Agricultural waste
    • Municipal waste (including household and commercial)
    • Packaging and plastic waste
    • Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)
    • Waste recycling
    • Hazardous waste
    • Waste reduction - Raw material saving
    • Resource efficiency
    • Integrated management


    • waste management
    • environmental awareness
    • domestic waste
    • waste use
    • waste recycling
    • waste treatment
    • waste reduction
    • waste collection
    • indicator
    • plastic
    • municipal waste
    • organic waste
    • solid waste
    • hazardous waste
    • management plan
    • agricultural waste


    • Directive 1999/31 - Landfill of waste (26.04.1999)
    • COM(2015)614 - "Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy" (02.12.2015)
    • Directive¬†2008/98 - Waste and repealing certain Directives (Waste Framework Directive) (19.11.2008)


    Name Type
    Hellenic Recycling Agency-Greece Participant
    National Quality Infrastructure System-Greece Participant
    National Centre for the Environment and Sustainable Development-Greece Participant
    Municipality of Athens-Greece Participant
    Municipality of Thessaloniki-Greece Participant
    Municipality of Alonissos-Greece Participant
    Municipality of Paros-Greece Participant
    Municipality of Antiparos-Greece Participant
    Municipality of Tinos-Greece Participant
    Municipality of Thira-Greece Participant
    Municipality of Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni-Greece Participant
    Municipality of Nafpaktia-Greece Participant
    Ecological Recycling Society-Greece Participant
    DAFNI Network of Sustainable Greek Islands-Greece Participant
    TERRA NOVA Environmental Engineering Consultancy Ltd.-Greece Participant
    Waste Management of Western Macedonia S.A.-Greece Participant
    Harokopio University of Athens-Greece Participant
    Green Fund-Greece Participant
    Central Market of Thessaloniki S.A. Participant