The European Commission’s representation in Cyprus, the Environment Commissioner, the Association of Supermarkets and the Consumers Association are joining forces in an information campaign against single use plastic bags, as the clock ticks to a ban on their free distribution.
The campaign will be held on Saturday, June 30 from 11 am to 12 noon, a day before a new law that obliges all points of sale to charge at least €0.05 plus VAT for each single use bag.
This fee must be printed on receipts while plastic bag producers must mark biodegradable and compostable bags. The new law is in line with an EU directive requiring member states to reduce the number of plastic bags to a maximum of 90 per head by the end of 2019 and 40 per head by the end of 2025.
It is part of an EU campaign to encourage the use of recyclable and reusable plastic, not just for shopping but in a wide range of products.
European Commission figures show that every year Europeans produce 25 million tons of plastic waste, of which less than 30% is recycled. Worldwide, plastic accounts for 85% of refuse on the beaches.
Single use plastic takes only five second to produce, are used for about five minutes but need at least 500 years to dissolve.
During next week’s campaign, representatives from the organisers will be at supermarkets, handing out information leaflets. The first 100 consumers will be offered reusable shopping bags.
The campaign will take place at:
Nicosia: Sklavenitis (Strovolos Mall), Metro (Lakatamia), Ioannides (Anthoupolis) Kkolias (Lakatamia);
Limassol: Papantoniou (Ypsonas); Sklavenitis (Columbia area), Metro (Moutayiaka), Tsiartas (Ayia Fyla)
Larnaca: Metro, Sklavenitis (central)
Paphos: Papantoniou (central), Sklavenitis (Kings Avenue Mall)
Free Famagusta: Metro, Sklavenitis (Paralimni)