A new law is set to come in force in Cyprus this coming January which will no longer see plastic carrier bags being given out for free at supermarkets.
The new levy will effectively force shoppers in Cyprus to purchase plastic carrier bags from supermarkets as from January 1, 2018. Supermarkets will charge €0.05cents for each bag.
The proposed bills were discussed by the House Environmental Committee on Wednesday with MPs also offered consultation by the Legal Services.
The bill is being steered by an EU directive on plastic bags and the law should have come into force on November 27 last year.
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As a result of the delay, Cyprus had received a Reasoned Opinion from the European Commission on the matter and the government has until August 15 to issue a response.
In the meantime, the Legal Services received the draft legislative proposal on March 21 and completed the legal vetting by May 4. The cabinet approved the provisions of the proposed bill on June 8.
The measure is aimed at reducing the use of plastic carrier bags, the promotion of reusable bags and the change in consumer attitude.
Director of the Environmental Department, Costas Hadjipanagiotou explained that the necessary discussions with the relevant stakeholders have been completed and that it has been decided the new measures will be introduced on January 1, 2018.