The agriculture ministry commented on Saturday about the measures adopted to reduce plastics in Cyprus, on the occasion of International Plastic-Free Day.

In a statement, the ministry noted that since 2018, a ban on the free distribution of thin plastic carrier bags and the obligation to charge for them at points of sale has been implemented. This measure has resulted in an 80-85 percent reduction in annual consumption compared to 2017.

In Cyprus, the ministry said, “various policies have been adopted aimed at reducing plastics”.

It noted that since 2022, the complete ban on the availability of thin plastic carrier bags at points of sale has been in effect.

Additionally, the ministry mentioned that in April 2022, parliament passed harmonising legislation to reduce certain single-use plastics. Under this legislation, certain single-use plastics, such as plastic cutlery, plates, and disposable straws, have been banned. Measures and policies are also being implemented to reduce other single-use plastics, including the Regulation on the Management of Plastic Waste from Tobacco Products and Tobacco Filters under Extended Producer Responsibility, which was passed by parliament in February 2024.

The ministry continued by stating that the adoption of regulations on the waste management of plastic products for agricultural use is expected soon. Additionally, regulations on the management of waste from fishing gear containing plastic material are currently being prepared.