Friends of the Earth Cyprus distribute cotton totes in Limassol

The organisation Friends of the Earth Cyprus held a symbolic action in Limassol on July 1st, distributing over 150 reusable cotton totes to consumers at the open-air market in Limassol, in the context of the International Plastic Bag Free Day.

On behalf of the organisation, Petros Kameris said Cyprus has a unique biodiversity, our seas are in need of protection, as a country we are very much behind in waste management and a long way from the strategy for a Circular Economy.

These facts alone should impose a change of policy. Our organisation is concerned over the unjustified delays. We believe plastic bags should be banned in the immediate future, not just a fee imposed, he said.

The organisation, in a press release, says that the International Plastic Bag Free Day was marked on Monday, with most European countries having adopted measures to reduce the use of plastic bags or ban them, and points out that Cyprus remains one of the member states that has not transposed Directive 2015/720 into its national law, nor has it taken any substantive action to address the pollution from plastic bags.

Even after the warnings issued by the European commission for the transposition of Directive (EU) 2015/720 on plastic bags into the national law, Cyprus is still inexcusably delaying, and has not yet sent a final draft for the amendment of its legislation. The specific directive, adopted in April 2015, calls for the reduction of the use of thin plastic bags in Europe, and obliges the member states to incorporate it into their national law by November 27, 2016. The last warning from the Commission came on June 14, 2017, and calls on Cyprus to justify this delay. If it does not receive a satisfactory answer, it may refer Cyprus to the EU court, the organisation notes.

** 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