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Cyprus

Bills to introduce charges for plastic bags heading to plenum

Shoppers will be charged five cents for a plastic bag from Sunday

Bills on plastic bag levies, harmonising Cyprus’ legislation with that of the EU, will head to plenum, House Environment Committee chairman Adamos Adamou said on Wednesday.

Speaking after the session, he told reports that if the bills are passed by parliament, plastic bags will be charged at six cents from July 18 next year.

The charge is broken down as five cents for the bag and one cent for VAT.

Additionally, if there are no amendments, supermarkets will not be pocketing the income. Instead 50 per cent will be spent by supermarkets to purchase environmentally friendly re-usable bags and the other 50 per cent towards programmes aimed at making the public more sensitive on environmental matters.

Green’s MP Charalambos Theopemptou said he was concerned companies might find loopholes in the legislation.

The best thing to do is change the law “so that plastic carrier bags are at some point completely banned.” This should be done by the summer of 2019, he added.

Cyprus has faced warnings in the past by the EU for not complying with directives over reducing plastic bag consumption.

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