A world stricken with plastic

Plastic has changed the face of the world for better and worse and is an indispensable product. And as such has become the "dummy" that rose against its maker and is threatening to strangle it.

No matter which coast we travel to in Europe, Asia, America or even the poles, plastic waste is floating everywhere on the water or lying on the beach, evidence of the excessive consumption that characterizes our lives as well as low awareness of its results.

How does plastic reach the sea? We leave it on the beach, on river banks or in city streets – beverage bottles, plastic bags and disposable utensils. These come with wind and waves to sea, and turn into one of the harshest enemies of marine environment.

Plastic is a complex polymer produced mainly from oil. It was introduced into our lives only a few decades ago, nevertheless it is everywhere: in industry, at homes, in packaging, in paint, adhesives, toys, electronics, clothes, artificial joints and more. What made plastic so popular is its ease of production, low price, durability and versatility.

Plastic originates in natural material, but finished products are made of materials that do not exist in nature, and therefore, for the moment, there are no creatures capable of decomposing it efficiently. According to experts' estimates, a PET (polyethylene terephthELAte) bottle made of polyethylene will last for 700-500 years. A hard plastic box will decompose after 1,000 years and an innocent plastic bag left on the beach will decompose after 200-300 years. All we can do is assume that the archaeologists of 3016 will find the box we left on the beach in the summer of 2016.

Every year, the world produces trillions of plastic products, weighing billions of tons, half of which cannot be recycled. These find their way to garbage dumps, open spaces and the sea. It is estimated that there are already more than a trillion particles of plastic waste in the oceans and thus far it is agreed upon with researchers that plastic waste is one of the most serious ecological problems. Plastic harms millions of animals every year. Studies suggest that by 2025 the oceans will contain more plastic particles than living organisms.

In recent years it has been discovered that plastic waste accumulates in giant floating islands (5 gyres) containing plastic parts in various stages of decomposition, with concentrations of bacteria, algae and protozoa (parasite). The largest garbage dump island is in the Pacific Ocean, and it has been dubbed "Plastisphere". The researchers, Tracy Mintzer and Eric Zetler of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States, which expose this phenomenon, examined the biological membrane that encapsulates a piece of plastic about five millimeters long and found more than 1,000 different species, some of which had never lived in the open ocean. The researchers surmise that some of the bacteria cling on to the plastic pieces as they pass through the digestive tract of fish or other marine animals. Not only that but plastic waste contains dangerous substances such as DDT, which are considered carcinogenic to both animals and man.

These dangerous substances are consumed by marine life, climb up the food chain and reach our plates.

As for now research has not yet been conducted as to the plastic infected consumption of marine life but researchers are express serious concern of the consequences.

Plastic floating at sea is responsible for another worrying phenomenon, the immigration of invading species.

Small marine creatures float through the oceans by clinging on to the small plastic pieces until they settle down in another place and inhabit it. With the absence of natural enemies the invading species take over the new environment and harm local inhabitants.

According to a UN report the economic damage caused by plastic waste is an estimated $ 75 billion a year alongside severe damage to coral reefs, death of sea turtle & mammals and severe damage to the biological diversity. Damages caused to the fishing, tourism, shipping and other sectors has been estimated at about $ 13 billion a year. The Economic Association of Asian Countries has estimated that plastic waste causes its member states $ 1.2 billion in damage each year, where the major damage caused by a decline in tourism as a result of coastal pollution.

Coastal pollution requires local authorities to invest huge sums in cleaning and enforcement. In the west coast of the United Stated cleaning of beaches reach up to $ 500 million a year, a sum that can be invested in other important goals such as education, housing and welfare. Our local authorities also invest a lot of money in cleaning beaches each year. In the absence of substantial assistance from the state, it is considered too few of actions and as such not efficient enough.

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Micro plastic

Professor Richard Thompson of the Plymouth University, England, was the first to discover in 2004 that plastic thrown into the sea is not degradable as many hoped, but undergoes a process of extinction which eventually turns it into micro plastic with grain diameter between several microns to few millimeters.

In 2009, researchers from the Auckland University, Australia, determined that these "innocent" particles floating at sea, penetrate the bodies of creatures, climb up the food chain, causing extensive damage to life and marine flora and reach our table with the fish we eat. It is estimated that the Pacific island of plastics contains billions of micro-plastics particles per square kilometer. A study of large lakes in the north of the United States has revealed large amounts of plastic particles that damage the water and the living creatures with in them, among them the oysters that are very fond of the region's inhabitants.

Another major source of micro plastics is household products, headed by cosmetics products – shower gel, peeling products and toothpastes to which plastic particles (microbeads) are inserted with the aim of increasing their efficiency. (Toothpaste contains between 5,000 and 95,000 plastic particles. Plastic particles volume in shower gel equals the volume of the other ingredients). These particles are so small they do not stop in any filter on the way, and they reach municipal sewage, groundwater, rivers and sea, causing damage. In 2015 Following public pressure, US President Barack Obama signed a law banning the sale of micro-plastics products less than five millimeters in diameter, which will come into effect July 2017. Even before the law was passed, cosmetic companies announced that they found natural alternatives to plastic pellets – Nutshells, fruit seeds and more.

Despite the paucity of research and the paucity of data, researchers still define the Mediterranean as "Plastic battered”, as about 10 percent of the world's coastal population lives along its shores, its shipping lanes are overloaded and its water flow streams that have dense populations, those are considered Ideal conditions for catastrophic emergence. According to preliminary estimates, already today the Mediterranean Sea contains about 10 percent of the total amount of plastic waste that travels throughout the seas, tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of items per kilometer.

The situation in Israel is no different. An three year examination conducted in eight different sections of the coast, by the Haifa University in cooperation with the Ministry of Environmental Protection, from Betzet in the north to Zikim in the south, shows that 92 percent of the waste on beaches and sea is plastic (58 percent worldwide). The sorting of waste revealed that it contained a large quantity of food packages, disposable utensils (32 percent) and garbage bags (23 percent).

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The main pollutants

One of the major pollutants to marine environment is undoubtedly the disposable utensils – cups, plates, cutlery and storage tools, which are disposed of by the public in open spaces, riverside banks and beaches. This is caused due to lack of proper infrastructure for collecting the utensils, lack of recycling plants, lack of products that can be produced from these materials (until recently it was common to manufacture polystyrene hangers, and in recent years, production has only been for polypropylene), and very low public awareness.

In many cities of the world, single use tools are not treated as a decree of fate. In Germany, municipal bylaws prohibiting the use of disposable utensils in mass events were enacted in several cities. The result is a 50 percent drop in the amount of garbage collected during the event. Munich's annual beer festival, Octofest, has won many prizes for not using disposable dishes. The Hamburg municipality banned the use of disposable utensils in all its buildings.

In 2010 China's Ministry of Economy warned that the use of disposable chopsticks would increase, and is encouraging the public to carry sticks even when he visited the restaurant.

In second place are plastic bags that fly in the wind or are left by the public in open spaces. These cause enormous damage to marine environment and especially to marine animals who mistakenly think that these are jellyfish.

Each year, 2.2 billion plastic bags, defined as tank top bags, are distributed in Israel, that is an average of 275 bags per person. Most of these bags find their way, after a very short use to the garbage, open spaces, beaches and the sea.

As in many countries around the world, which prohibited the distribution of free bags, in March 2016, the Knesset approved the law to reduce the use of disposable bags, promoted by Zalul and the Council for a Beautiful Israel, which charges ten agorot for the purchase of a tank top bag (Zalul demanded the payment of 60 agorot). The purpose of the law was to make the public reduce the use of bags and convince him to come to the store with a multi-use basket. Given the low price of the bag, it is doubtful whether the law will have a major impact on consumers.

Another problematic pollutant is drinking straws. According to estimates the Israeli public uses about 10 million drinking straws every year (the American public uses about 500 million straws a day/ About 1.5 straws per person a day). The straws are made of plastic containing Bisphenol (BPA), which is suspected to be a substance that impairs fertility and is banned for use in children's products. However, there is no prohibition against the manufacturing of straws made out of this substance. In some countries around the world the use of straws is prohibited. We have no reference to this. According to an assessment of the National Marine Environment Protection Unit, drinking straws account for about 10 percent of the plastic waste on beaches.

The rivers also discharge large quantities of plastic waste into the sea. This waste is originated by the public walking along the river and leaving waste on the banks, criminals who dump garbage in open areas, and waste that is driven to the rivers by the wind and fluid. Another source of waste is the urban drainage through which waste flows into the rivers and seas, which flows from the streets of the cities, roads and sidewalks. This waste contains food packages, bottles, bottle caps, plastic bags, cigarette butts and animal carcasses.

Many countries are trying to deal with the phenomenon by cleaning up city streets before the rainy season, dispersing ashtrays around the city to prevent cigarette butts from reaching the sea, and installing nets on the municipal drainage holes, which are meant to absorb the garbage and prevent it from reaching the sea. For the time being Israel does not have a standard for urban drainage, and there is no demand made by the Ministry of Environmental Protection to install nets on hatches of urban drainage pipes.

Fishermen also contribute to plastic waste. Although they find their livelihood at sea or spend their leisure time there, they are considered to be befoulers who do not take much consideration of the resource they enjoy. It is sufficient to tour the beaches and piers on which the fishermen spend time, in order to understand the dimensions of the phenomenon. After every storm, the shores of the country are filled with the remains of torn fishing nets, floaters ripped off of fishing nets and remains of fishing gear. On the wharves on which the sport fishermen stand, a huge amount of garbage rolls, including food packages, plastic bags and half-drink containers, in which flour remains used by the fishermen as bait.

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What can we do?

Although it seems that plastic polluting the beaches and rivers is a kind of fate that comes along with progress, it turns out that it is not too late to take responsibility. Global experience shows that if governments, authorities and the public believe that a subject is important enough, they will act to realize it. If we all believe that leaving waste on the beaches endangers our health and the health of the marine environment, it is likely that the phenomenon will be reduced, as was the case with picking wildflowers and cleaning streets with dog feces. For this to happen, the government, the authorities and the public must do their part. The government must enact laws and enforce them, such as: encouraging the reduction of the use of disposable plastic, prohibiting the manufacture and import of non-biodegradable disposable utensils, marking plastic products during their degradation and more. Local authorities must enact bylaws, impose fines on waste disposal agents and clean the beaches thoroughly and at a much higher frequency. The public has to act logically – reduce the use of plastic, use multi-usage tools, say "no" to bags and drinking straws, recycle, and especially not to through waste into rivers and on the beach.

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A City Without Plastics project was launched, the first of its kind in the world

At a conference of coastal cities held on January 29, 2018, Herzliya Mayor Mr. Moshe Fadlon, Zalul CEO Maya Jacobs and the chairman of the Herzliya Municipal Tourism Development Corporation Mr. Jonathan Jacobovitz, announced the launch of a "City without Plastics", the first environmental pilot project of its kind in Israel and worldwide, in which a city (Herzliya Municipality) will gradually stop using disposable plastic tools.

The project is the result of Zalul's initiative and will be operated as a cooperation of the association, the Herzliya municipality and the municipal company for the development of tourism in an effort to deal with and solve the plague of plastic pollution. The pilot will begin at the mayor's office and the municipality building, and from there he will gradually proceed to the city's various institutions: kindergartens, schools, large public events sponsored by the municipality, businesses along the sea side, neighborhoods, public institutes and more…

Herzliya’s Mayor Mr. Moshe Fadlon said: "The city of Herzliya is one of the leading cities in Israel in the field of sustainability and environment. The widespread use of disposable plastic and the pollution caused by it necessitate vigorous action and the Herzliya Municipality is pleased to be the first to undertake the "City without Plastics" project. “This is a revolutionary approach that will reduce waste and thereby protect our marine and coastal environment and our natural resources."

Zalul CEO Maya Jacobs said: "Herzliya is a city that lives the sea, which is an inseparable part of the residents' lives. Plastic pollution at sea is a major ecological disaster, leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of animals worldwide each year. Experts say that by 2050 there will be more plastic at sea than animals. ‘City without Plastics’ is an important project that forms part of Zalul's overall activity to eradicate the environmental disaster caused by plastic. These join the Bags Law, the demand to apply the Deposit Law on large beverage bottles, and the initiation of another future bill to reduce the use of disposable tools and mark them with warning instructions as they mark cigarette packs."

"This initiative is another step in the framework of the vision that has been implemented in Herzliya in recent years under my lead, in order to reduce the impact of man on the sea. This is all a part of a goal I setup for myself to insure that the city of Herzliya will preserve its most valuable assets, the sea and the seaside" said Adv. Jonathan Jacobovitch, chairman of the Herzliya Municipal Tourism Development Corporation. “This current action is in alignment with actions already taken, such as: stopping the flow of sewage to the beaches, treating the drainage system before the first rain, cleaning the sea floor, expanding beaches by transporting sand instead of breakwaters, etc. I Thank the Mayor for his support and Zalul for their fruitful cooperation. The actions we are taking will be gradually & wisely lead and in accordance with our vision, and will eventually include the entire activity in Herzliya, in hope that private entities and other authorities will adopt similar initiatives. "

The pilot will last 2 years, in which all municipal authorities cease using disposable plastics, with emphasis in cups, plates and cutlery. The process will be professionally accompanied by Zalul and with tight cooperation with the Herzliya Municipal Tourism Development Corporation.

Around the world there are countries that reduce the use of plastic tools. The UK had announced that it would prohibit the sale of products containing micro-plastic. This is in addition to the requirement to pay 25 pennies for a disposable cup of coffee, a ban on the use of drinking straws in bars, and the collection of 5 pennies per plastic bag. In France, the prohibition of the use of disposable utensils will begin in 2020. In Germany there is already a ban on the use of disposable utensils in urban events and more.

Yet nowhere have all the things been put together into an overall municipal policy. In that, the city of Herzliya, which has adopted Zalul’s “City without Plastics” project, turns into a world leader.

Humanity produces about 300 million tons of garbage every year, of which about 8 million tons of plastic waste reaches the sea and the oceans. The global struggle to deal with the plague of plastic pollution is shared by many organizations around the world, as well as prominent figures such as British Crown Prince Charles, former US Secretary of State John Kerry, billionaire businessman Richard Brosnan and others. These work to reducing the use from its origins, to finding solutions for collecting plastic waste and for plastic recycling. In this context, it is important to pay attention to larger international contexts that will have great impact on the plastic issue and its treatment. For example, China announced that from January 1, 2018, it would stop absorbing plastic, paper and metal waste from the world. At the same time, the world's largest oil companies announced that in light of the global growth in the use of hybrid vehicles, it would invest $ 2 billion in the next few years to develop further uses of plastics.

Zalul has joined the fight against micro plastics

As part of its struggle to reduce sea pollution in plastic, Zalul joined an international coalition “Beat The Micro Bead”. The coalition is heading an international campaign against the use of micro-plastics particles in the hygienic & cosmetics industries (creams, toiletries & toothpastes). Micro-plastics are small plastic particles added by manufacturers into toothpastes and cosmetics in order to improve their activity. After usage, the micro-plastics run down the drain to the ground, into rivers and down to the sea, and from there into the stomach of different animals and at the end of the journey they land on our tables as well.

The coalition is supported by 93 organizations & NGOs from 39 countries worldwide. Following the coalition’s actions, 448 brand-names of 119 manufacturers have promised to stop the usage of the micro-plastics particles in their products.

 beatthemicrobead.org

Zalul addressed the Minister of Justice, Ayelet Shaked, to include, as part of the Pharmacists' Regulations (cosmetics), 2018, a ban on the manufacturing and import of cosmetics containing micro-plastics. These regulations will be approved under the Arrangements Law. The ban must be included in chapter 9: “Forbidden and limited substances for cosmetics. "

Micro-plastics are polyethylene granules that have been inserted for more than 50 years into cosmetics – toothpastes, soaps and other cosmetics – in order to improve their efficiency. Recently, several researchers have discovered that these grains, less than five millimeters in diameter, reach the sewage treatment plants, from which they are sent to the farmers' fields by irrigation water or streamed to rivers and from there to the sea, causing severe damage to marine life and vegetation and up to the extinction of many species. As marine creatures are used for food, these plastic particles also reach our table and cause health damage to the public.

After these heavy damages became known, on December 28, 2015, Former US President Barak Obama, signed a law banning the sale of micro-plastics products less than 5 mm in diameter, which came into action on July 2017. Recently, The European Union has also announced a ban on the sale of products containing plastics from 2030. England, Italy and New ZeELAnd announced that the ban on the sale of products containing micro-plastics will take effect come July 2018.

In Zalul‘s opinion, the State of Israel must immediately join this blessed and most important global trend by prohibiting the production, distribution and sale of cosmetics containing micro-plastics, thereby making a crucial contribution to the safety of the sea and rivers as well as the entire public.

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Zalul to Minister Shaked: Prohibit the manufacture and import of micro-plastics products

Zalul addressed the Minister of Justice, Ayelet Shaked, to include, as part of the Pharmacists' Regulations (cosmetics), 2018, a ban on the manufacturing and import of cosmetics containing micro-plastics. These regulations will be approved under the Arrangements Law. The ban must be included in chapter 9: “Forbidden and limited substances for cosmetics. "

Micro-plastics are polyethylene granules that have been inserted for more than 50 years into cosmetics – toothpastes, soaps and other cosmetics – in order to improve their efficiency. Recently, several researchers have discovered that these grains, less than five millimeters in diameter, reach the sewage treatment plants, from which they are sent to the farmers' fields by irrigation water or streamed to rivers and from there to the sea, causing severe damage to marine life and vegetation and up to the extinction of many species. As marine creatures are used for food, these plastic particles also reach our table and cause health damage to the public.

After these heavy damages became known, on December 28, 2015, Former US President Barak Obama, signed a law banning the sale of micro-plastics products less than 5 mm in diameter, which came into action on July 2017. Recently, The European Union has also announced a ban on the sale of products containing plastics from 2030. England, Italy and New ZeELAnd announced that the ban on the sale of products containing micro-plastics will take effect come July 2018.

In Zalul‘s opinion, the State of Israel must immediately join this blessed and most important global trend by prohibiting the production, distribution and sale of cosmetics containing micro-plastics, thereby making a crucial contribution to the safety of the sea and rivers as well as the entire public.

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Expanding the Deposit Law

Zalul calls on the Ministry of Environmental Protection to expand the deposit law and apply it also onto the large containers (1.5 liters) that pollute open spaces and beaches, damage the landscape, harm flora and fauna and the entire public. Today, the deposit law is applied on small containers only, whose collection rate is more than 80 percent, and they have almost completely disappeared from the beaches and open spaces, while large containers continue to contaminate the environment.

What is the Deposit Law?

The Deposit Law, enacted in 1999, imposes a 30-agorot deposit on containers of up to 1.5 liters, but not on larger containers. Therefore, the purpose of the law, as defined, to improve the cleanliness of public space and to reduce the amount of waste buried, is only partially implemented.

Over the years, attempts have been made to apply the law to large beverage containers, but these have failed because of the opposition of the beverage manufacturers, who are the owners of the ELA recycling company, who succeeded in persuading the ultra-Orthodox parties to support this opposition.

What quantities are we talking about?

Each year 750 million large beverage containers are produced in the State of Israel. 430 million containers are voluntarily collected by the public (half of them are collected from transit stations, while the burden of the cost of collection is on the public), whereas 320 million containers (!!!) find their way to the landfills, and at worst they are thrown on beaches and into rivers. There they are one of the most severe pollutants.

Were any attempts made throughout the years to amend the law?

In 2010 the law was amended, but even then it was not applied to large containers. Instead, the legislator set collection targets (originally, the law set a recycling target of 85%, after which the recycling target was changed to 77% and reduced to 55%) under "autopilot". In other words, if the manufacturers and the ELA corporation will succeed in collecting and recycling 55% (of the quantity sold in 2016), the deposit law will not apply to them. In the case they fail to do so, the deposit will be applied beginning 2017.

And indeed, according to the manufacturers, the rate of collection of containers stood at 54% in 2015, while in 2017 it was 57.5%. Hence, they should not be placed under the Deposit Law. In addition, the Ministry of Environmental Protection announced that it was considering canceling the "autopilot" clause and subjecting treatment of beverage containers to the packaging law approved in 2011, since the packaging law is efficient enough and therefore no deposit is required. The Minister of Environmental Protection is scheduled to decide on the matter.

Has the Ministry of Environmental Protection examined ELA’s data?

The data presented by ELA Corporation have not been examined or analyzed by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, so there is a reasonable chance that they are not correct and in practice are intended to serve the purpose of the corporation that opposes the expansion of the Deposit Law. A survey conducted by “Maagar Mochot” based on 276 recycling cages (Ordered by Asufta – a collection company that supports the expansion of the law), determined that the response was only 35%, and that a large proportion of the recycled containers were not those of drinking but of other products (ELH corporation denies this). In Pareto company’s opinion, which did work for the Asufta collection corporation, the response rates are even lower, and in any case they contradict European data where the voluntary collection is only 20%.

How is collection conducted?

By ELA’s data, collection is conducted by 24 thousand recycling cages scattered around the country, to where the public voluntarily brings the bottles. 2 percent is collected through and orange recycling bin and half is collected from transit stations. It is important to emphasize that a bottle that has arrived at the transit stations has cost municipalities a lot on the tax payer’s money, and as such, cannot be defined as “voluntary collection”.

What’s happening around the globe?

In most western countries, the US and Australia among them, a deposit law coincides with a packaging law. In some of the countries a deposit law was enacted after a packing law had existed already (In Germany the packaging law was legislated in the early 90s and the deposit law in 2002, where recycling collection target was set at 72 percent. Today recycling collection stands at 90 percent). A study conducted in the United States in 2014 found that the rate of return in countries with a deposit law is 80% -90%, while in countries where there is no law, it stands at only 23%.

What is the rate of return for small containers included in the deposit law?

The collection rate is 80%. Where out of the 5 billion beverage containers sold between 2002 and 2012, about 90% of the containers requiring deposit were returned. Nine times more than the return of the containers that did not owe the deposit. The best proof for law succeeding is the fact that small containers have almost completely disappeared from the sides of the roads, the rivers, open spaces and beaches, while large containers are languishing everywhere.

Is the claim that a deposit raises the cost of living correct?

The deposit is not a surcharge, since the consumer has a way to get his money back. Not only that, an inspection has revealed that the deposit caused a decline in the price of the product, since the manufacturer absorbs part of the deposit, so that who ever returns the container gains the reduction in the price of the product. Studies also prove that deposit does not cause a reduction in product use. In particular, a deposit encourages sustainable conduct and internalizes the external costs caused by the purchased product to the environment and to the general public.

There is a claim that crime families have taken over the collection of small containers

This argument has not been proven. What is certain is that the collection of small containers has become a source of livelihood for quite a few people who collect the bottles and return them. It is reasonable to assume that these people find it difficult to earn a living in another way.

Elkin decided not to expand the law

עיצוב: ולדה זלנין

he deposit law – "Zalul" will address the court

Following the decision of the Minister of the Environment, Ze'ev Elkin, not to expand the deposit law onto large beverage containers, "Zalul" will appeal to the court demanding that it determines whether the Minister took a decision which is under his authority.

Zalul believes that in his decision not to expand the deposit law and not to apply it to the large bottles, Ze'ev Elkin, in his role as minister of environmental protection, had damaged the public trust by predilection of foreign interests over environmental & the public’s interests. These harsh words must be said after it turns out that Minister Elkin preferred ignoring conclusions stated by CPA Yamin Georgi's report, which his office had ordered, explicitly stating that the recycling corporation ELA did not meet the recycling target, and chose to adopt the corporation's reports which proved to be, to put it mildly unreliable. This raises the suspicion that Minister Elkin had already foreseen the goal, which is the non-application of the law, thereby harming the interest of all of us.

The deposit law was legislated as an environmental law whose primary purpose was to make the public stop throwing beverage bottles in open areas and beaches and return them in exchange for the deposit. The beverage manufacturers opposed the law and convinced the religious parties that it would make the drinks more expensive. These caused the law to be applied only on small beverage bottles, and as for large bottles, the public was requested to voluntarily return them through ugly recycling cages placed on pavements at the expense of the public domain. The Minister of the Environment was required to examine the performance of the corporation as of 2016. If the rate of return does not exceed 50%, the Minister will be asked to expand the law automatically. However, contrary to what was expected of him, and despite the data that clearly showed that the ELA corporation did not meet the task, Elkin decided not to fulfill his duty and not expand the law.

According to the data by CPA Georgi clearly indicating that contrary to claims made by the ELA corporation showing they managed to collect 60% of the containers, they only managed to collect 44.13%. Not only that, contrary to the corporation's claims that it managed to recycle 100% of the containers, the data from CPA Georgi show recycling of only 30%, far from the 80% target set by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

In his report, CPA Georgi states that the corporation intervened in the data by deciding on his own that the weight of the bottles was smaller, thereby causing a deviation in results for his benefit. The corporation's reports were not accompanied by documents and in some cases duplicate reports were made. His recommendation to the Ministry of Environmental Protection was that data on the weight of the bottles would be received from an authorized entity other than the corporation. In other words, the accountant's office appointed by the Ministry of Environmental Protection himself did not believe the reports of ELA, while the minister was prepared to rely on them blindfolded.

Not only that, but in order to explain his puzzling opposition to the law, Elkin claimed that "crime families" took over the collection of small bottles and therefore should not be allowed to expand their businesses. Unfortunately, the Minister of Environmental Protection did not even think for a moment that crime is being dealt with by the police, but by harming the environment.

The question arises as to why the Minister decided in favor of the corporation and against the public, and whether this has anything to do with the fact that he is running for the Jerusalem Municipality Mayor elections, whose population, the minister assumes, does not support expanding the law. Minister Elkin will be asked to explain to the court, as there is no chance that the environmental organizations, headed by Zalul, will let this scandalous decision slip by the order of the day.