Friday, June 5, 2020, 12:00p.m.
Καλημέρα. I think that’s the only time that we’ll be able to say I’m offering an assist to Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Minister Theodorikakos, Governor Patoulis, Mayor Kondylis, colleagues, friends. Thank you for joining us at this socially distanced celebration of World Environment Day, and thank you to the Ministry of the Interior and to Envipco for inviting me to speak.
When we protect nature, nature protects us. So I want to start by acknowledging the great collaboration between Minister Theodorikakos, Governor Patoulis, and the rest of the Greek state to actively support and develop recycling efforts in Greece.
It’s easy to forget when you’re sitting in Ambelokipi in the center of Athens that you’re just a train ride away from fantastic, sandy beaches like Alimos, one of the most beautiful in all of Attica. I have never been happier to be back on the beach than today after two months of lock-down.
One of our best friends in Greece lives here in Alimos, so my wife and I have been coming here for almost 20 years and it’s a special pleasure today to meet Mayor Kondylis, whom I hear very positive things about. Thank you, Mr. Mayor, for welcoming us.
During the Coronavirus lockdown, American companies in Greece showed fantastic generosity, and their ingenuity and assistance helped Greece to respond so effectively to this unprecedented pandemic. I want to thank Envipco, in cooperation with Texan and Rewarding Recycling, for donating 2,000 tablets to help the Ministries of Interior and Education to keep schools going through e-learning platforms during this time.
Greece’s outstanding management of its response to the pandemic will benefit the country greatly as it now begins the process of reopening the economy and welcoming tourists in the coming weeks.
I was happy recently to discuss with Minister Theodorikakos Greece’s successful response to the COVID pandemic, as well as our increasing cooperation with Greece on environmental and recycling initiatives, another issue that requires cooperative efforts between the United States and all of our European partners.
So today as we celebrate both World Environment Day and the gradual reopening of the country’s beaches, I’m thrilled to help launch Envipco’s mobile kiosk.
Demonstrated first at the American pavilion of the Thessaloniki International Fair in 2018, this kiosk follows all Greek legislation for “separation at the source” to produce high quality recycled material. And importantly, the kiosk can be easily transported to other beaches and even the islands, playing an important role in helping Greece to develop a culture of recycling and a true circular economy that maximizes the recovery and reuse of materials while reducing plastic waste in the Mediterranean.
Last December, I joined the grand opening of Envipco’s manufacturing plant in Pallini, where the Prime Minister spoke about his bold plans to eliminate the use of single-use plastics by next year. Not only will these bold measures help to preserve Greece’s remarkable environment and heritage, but they also provide an opportunity for American investment in an area where U.S. companies lead in innovation and technology.
Envipco is a world leader in the manufacturing and development of these automated recycling machines, so I commend the Greek government for embracing this technology and helping municipalities on the mainland and in the islands to move ahead with this new economic model. I look forward to seeing these Envipco kiosks around the country this summer as I enjoy the best part of Greece.
And with the support of Minister Theodorikakos, I look forward to the continued development of the partnership between our countries, including in the critical area of how we work together to protect and preserve our environment.
Το περιβάλλον εξαρτάται από μάς. Ευχαριστώ πολύ.