Are Cypriots ready to replace plastic Bags?
by FFE EU News staff
Now that the European Commission (EC) will amend its rules on the use of lightweight plastic carrier bags, member states will soon be expected to follow. But with no current measures in place, is Cyprus ready to make a step towards change?
According to the EC, Cyprus doesn’t have a policy regulating the use of plastic bags. Europrism Research estimated in a 2011 report that a typical household uses three plastic bags a day. This brings the collective use of plastic bags to 660,000 a day.
While kiosks, supermarkets and bakeries tend to hand out bags to customers, there are some stores and outlets that have applied their own rules on the use of plastic bags. For example, some charge a fee for bags while others offer alternatives.
EC environment commissioner Janez Poto?nik said that around eight billion plastic bags end up as waste every year, causing damage to the environment. The EC also pointed out evidence of a growing accumulation of debris along Cyprian coasts, floating or lying on the floor of the Eastern Mediterranean.
The European Parliament and the Council have yet to approve the amendments before they come into effect. Once they have been approved, member states, including Cyprus, will be given a year to amend their laws and two years to implement the directive.