Parliament on Thursday passed regulations banning outright the use of carrier plastic bags – such as those used in supermarkets and kiosks.

The regulations passed with 37 votes for, while the two Elam MPs voted against. It comes into effect in a year after the law is published in the Official Gazette.

The regulations prohibit the sale of carrier plastic bags at points of sale, and also prohibit the production, distribution, supply and use of plastic bags.

In addition, merchants are obliged to undertake actions to raise public awareness around the need to reduce usage of plastic bags.

According to Akel MP Nicos Kettiros, use of carrier plastic bags has dropped 80 per cent since 2017 when a law passed imposing a €0.06 surcharge per bag at points of sale.