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Parliament to legislate dissemination of junk mail

The unrestrained dissemination of fliers and other advertising material will be regulated by parliament before it disbands ahead of May’s legislative elections, it was announced on Wednesday.

Speaking after discussion of a legislative proposal by the Greens at the House Environment committee, chairman Adamos Adamou said that “the chaos we have all lived through with advertising fliers will come to an end”.

“There are people who want them, and people who don’t, and the law will include clauses respecting both,” he said.

Adamou noted that, under existing legislation, responsibility for respecting the public’s right to receive fliers or not rests with local authorities, and the House will introduce penalties that will include criminal prosecutions and fines.

He said that distribution companies, as well as individual delivery men, will be held accountable in instances of disseminating fliers to mailboxes marked that the owner does not wish to receive advertising material.

In this case, he added, if the company is not licensed it will be subject to criminal proceedings, whereas delivery men will be fined.

The Greens’ deputy Giorgos Perdikis said that, after many years, the effort is to introduce legislation forbidding the unrestricted placement of fliers.

He explained that, through a clearly visible notice on the mailbox, distributors can be aware that the owner does not wish to receive promotional material, but clarified that the restriction will only apply to mailboxes.

“In this way, pointless pollution and waste of paper will be eliminated, and the public’s complaints that letters and cheques are being lost in the clutter, and that fliers work as funnels, letting rainwater into mailboxes, will be addressed,” he said.

Perdikis added that the proposed legislation is acceptable to all stakeholders, with the exception of distributors, who contest the penalty.

He noted that voting the proposal into law is a good start to quell the unrestrained dissemination of fliers, and that if the measures prove inadequate, parliament can proceed to further amendments.

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