Cyprus’ new laws on single use plastic bags have cut usage by as much as 85%-86%, according to the latest data, but their total abolition is strongly opposed by the island’s Retail Trade Association.
Talking to INSIDER, Association chief Marios Antoniou said that they welcome the spectacular results of the regulations that took effect on July 1, 2018 imposing a charge of 5 cents per bag.
But, he added, the total abolition of plastic bags is not acceptable because of its consequences on the Mediterranean island’s tourism industry.
And he explained that the high number of tourists visiting Cyprus annually would be obliged to either bring their own bags with them or buy reusable ones – something which is not fair.
Antoniou also said that this issue was discussed with Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Costas Kadis with whom they had a meeting recently.
“(EU) Member States, including Cyprus, have achieved the targets set per capita use of plastic bags. I do not see the reason why they should be totally abolished. It is not something that finds us agreeable, far from it,” Antoniou added.
Asked whether there was a difference in supermarket revenue following the reduction of plastic bags, he said some money was saved. And that this money is being used in campaigns to raise public awareness and to promote and enhance environmental consciousness.