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Today, the Delegation of the European Union to Albania launched a campaign to raise awareness about plastic pollution and to encourage alternatives to single-use plastics. Under the slogan ''Plastic leaves no space for life'', the two-month campaign will inform citizens about environmental protection through videos, infographics, movie screenings and debates.
The launch event hosted by the EU Ambassador Luigi Soreca took place at the Museum of Natural Sciences ''Sabiha Kasimati'', with the participation of the Albanian Minister of Tourism and Environment Blendi Klosi, Austrian Ambassador Christian Steiner, German Ambassador Peter Zingraf, Swedish Ambassador Elsa Håstad, civil society representatives and volunteers.
In his opening remarks, the EU Ambassador said: ''Plastics has become one of the most pressing environmental and health challenges of our times. The European Union adopted new rules to ban single-use plastic objects from 2021 and Albanians should benefit from the same level of environmental protection. The EU is working with its Member States to improve the well-being, everyday life and opportunities for Albanians. Because they deserve it and because it brings the country closer to EU standards."
Minister of Tourism and Environment Blendi Klosi said: "We need to take strong measures to create in Albania a clean, environmentally friendly surrounding, and all manner of urban waste management in our country. The campaign will mark its success when citizens themselves will refuse to use plastic bags."
The EU will be helping Albania to move towards a circular economy, with the Programme on Circular Economy and Green Growth starting in 2020. It will support 15 municipalities reach EU standards in municipal waste management and will push circular economy through grants to eco-friendly business and civil society.
As part of the ''Today for Environment'' campaign, the EU Delegation presented the first video of the campaign highlighting the negative effects of plastics on the environment and health.
The EU Delegation will release six infographics and a second video that address the issue of individual actions contributing towards the reduction of plastic waste and littering. This will be followed by a social media challenge showcasing individuals and institutions reducing their use of plastics and act for a cleaner environment.
Throughout November and December 2019, debates will take place in Tirana, Vlora and Divjake, tackling the impact of plastic pollution, marine environment protection and climate change. The campaign will include an environmental fair at Europe House in Tirana on 12 December, where citizens can learn about the work of Albanian environmental organisations and about EU and Member States projects that protect the environment.
Two movie screenings regarding environmental issues will also be organised at Europe House. Throughout the country, several outreach activities in schools will raise awareness about the importance of environmental protection.