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Cabinet approves ban on disposable plastic carrier bags

The cabinet on Tuesday decided to ban all disposable thin plastic carrier bags at points of sale to protect the environment from plastic waste.

Following the imposition of a charge on such bags in July 2018, the cabinet has now approved a change to the packaging laws to ban the bags outright.

The new draft regulation, which was preceded by a public consultation, will cover all points of sale, including home delivery, a cabinet announcement said.

According to Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis, who proposed the amendment, “the ban on the placement of thin plastic carry bags at points of sale will further raise awareness of citizens and especially the future generation around of the benefits of reducing the production of plastic waste in the environment”.

“Today’s decision is another decisive step towards tackling the problem of environmental pollution from plastic bags,” a cabinet announcement said.

In addition, it harmonises Cyprus with the general trend now adopted at European level to further reduce the use of plastic and ban certain disposable items, to protect the environment and save natural resources.

It said that since charges for the bags were introduced in 2018, Cyprus had seen an 80 per cent reduction in the use of plastic bags at points of sale.

“By banning the disposal of the thin plastic carrying bag at points of sale, the public will now have sole responsibility for transporting their products in other ways,” the announcement added.

The new regulations will enter into force after being passed by the House.

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