Agios Athanasios Municipality launches campaign to reduce plastic bag use

Agios Athanasios Municipality in Limassol will launch an awareness raising campaign in September, aiming to reduce the use of plastic bags among citizens and shop owners. In this context, the Municipality is set to distribute 1,500 reusable bags for free.

The bags were delivered to the Municipality of Agios Athanasios by the European Commission Representation in Cyprus, after a relevant request. Speaking during a press conference, the Head of the Representation, Ierotheos Papadopoulos, said that we need to realize that we are able to reduce the use of plastic bags and that this is a decision that affects our lives, the lives of our children and the environment.

Papadopoulos, together with Ioanna Panayiotou, the Commissioner for the Environment, congratulated the Municipality of Agios Athanasios for the initiative. They noted that plastic bag use in Cyprus fell by 80%, a month after relevant measures were enforced.

Where theres a will theres a way, and this is always related to the economy, Papadopoulos noted, adding that the important thing is to identify the problem and ways to deal with it.

He added that when asked to pay, citizens think twice about the use of plastics. According to the Head of the European Commission Representation in Cyprus, the EU aims to reduce and eventually prohibit the use of various disposable plastics, such as straws, glasses and bottles.

Many countries already found ways to tackle the challenges ahead, in order to meet the targets by 2030, he went on, and referred to various examples from the UK and Germany.

Papadopoulos also referred to the problem of old fishing nets left in the seas, noting that new legislation, in force by 2030, provides that fishermen return their defunct nets and other tools, while paying for their recycling.

Environment Commissioner Ioanna Panayiotou said on her part that Cyprus needs to deal with several issues, when it comes to waste production and waste management, and added that a large part of this concerns plastics.

She said moreover that the goal should be to prohibit the use of plastic bags by the end of the year, adding that the next target should be the reduction of the use of straws.

She called on Agios Athanasios Municipality to take the lead and become the first Municipality in Cyprus with plastic bag-free businesses operating within its boundaries.

Agios Athanasios Mayor, Marinos Kyriacou, said that the campaign launched by the Municipality is part of its environmental policy, implemented in cooperation with the European Commission Representation in Cyprus that provides reusable shopping bags.

The campaign, to be launched this September, will involve pupils from local schools. Reusable bags will be distributed to the public outside supermarkets, the Mayor said.

He appeared finally certain that residents will embrace this initiative as well and say goodbye to the use of plastic bags for good.

** The report is in the context of the project Rethink: Reduce- Reuse � Recycle which is funded by the EU programme LIFE+ (project code: LIFE13 INF/CY/000910) of the EU. Coordinating Beneficiary: CyBC. Partners: Green Dot Cyprus, Department of Environment, Cyprus Pedagogical Institute, CNA, Fost Plus Belgium **

Source: Cyprus News Agency

Agios Athanasios Municipality launches campaign to reduce plastic bag use

Agios Athanasios Municipality in Limassol will launch an awareness raising campaign in September, aiming to reduce the use of plastic bags among citizens and shop owners. In this context, the Municipality is set to distribute 1,500 reusable bags for free.

The bags were delivered to the Municipality of Agios Athanasios by the European Commission Representation in Cyprus, after a relevant request. Speaking during a press conference, the Head of the Representation, Ierotheos Papadopoulos, said that we need to realize that we are able to reduce the use of plastic bags and that this is a decision that affects our lives, the lives of our children and the environment.

Papadopoulos, together with Ioanna Panayiotou, the Commissioner for the Environment, congratulated the Municipality of Agios Athanasios for the initiative. They noted that plastic bag use in Cyprus fell by 80%, a month after relevant measures were enforced.

Where theres a will theres a way, and this is always related to the economy, Papadopoulos noted, adding that the important thing is to identify the problem and ways to deal with it.

He added that when asked to pay, citizens think twice about the use of plastics. According to the Head of the European Commission Representation in Cyprus, the EU aims to reduce and eventually prohibit the use of various disposable plastics, such as straws, glasses and bottles.

Many countries already found ways to tackle the challenges ahead, in order to meet the targets by 2030, he went on, and referred to various examples from the UK and Germany.

Papadopoulos also referred to the problem of old fishing nets left in the seas, noting that new legislation, in force by 2030, provides that fishermen return their defunct nets and other tools, while paying for their recycling.

Environment Commissioner Ioanna Panayiotou said on her part that Cyprus needs to deal with several issues, when it comes to waste production and waste management, and added that a large part of this concerns plastics.

She said moreover that the goal should be to prohibit the use of plastic bags by the end of the year, adding that the next target should be the reduction of the use of straws.

She called on Agios Athanasios Municipality to take the lead and become the first Municipality in Cyprus with plastic bag-free businesses operating within its boundaries.

Agios Athanasios Mayor, Marinos Kyriacou, said that the campaign launched by the Municipality is part of its environmental policy, implemented in cooperation with the European Commission Representation in Cyprus that provides reusable shopping bags.

The campaign, to be launched this September, will involve pupils from local schools. Reusable bags will be distributed to the public outside supermarkets, the Mayor said.

He appeared finally certain that residents will embrace this initiative as well and say goodbye to the use of plastic bags for good.

** The report is in the context of the project Rethink: Reduce- Reuse � Recycle which is funded by the EU programme LIFE+ (project code: LIFE13 INF/CY/000910) of the EU. Coordinating Beneficiary: CyBC. Partners: Green Dot Cyprus, Department of Environment, Cyprus Pedagogical Institute, CNA, Fost Plus Belgium **

Source: Cyprus News Agency