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Single-use Plastics Banned in Cyprus

Single-use Plastics
Single-use Plastics Banned in Cyprus. Credit: Creative common /Steven Depolo

Cyprus is taking an important step towards sustainability by banning single-use plastics, according to a law that is set to come into effect on October 1st.

As a result, products such as plastic cotton swabs, cutlery, and plates among other things will be banned from the market from the following weekend.

Charalambos Theopemptou, the head of the Green Party, made reference to the 2019/904 regulation in a statement on Wednesday. The regulation is set to have a major impact on the future of the EU plastics market.

More specifically, the plastic ban pertains to: straws, beverage stirrers, and cotton swabs as well as any beverage cups made of expanded polystyrene, including their covers and lids, unless otherwise specified by EU regulations.

In addition, packets and food wrappers intended for food and plates, straws, cutlery—such as forks, knives, spoons, and chopsticks—will also be banned as will plastic shopping bags, wet wipes, certain sanitary products, tobacco products, and filters.

Finally, such items as sticks attached to balloons and mechanisms for such sticks will be banned beginning on October 1st. As an exception, sticks and applications for industrial or professional balloon use not intended for customer use will not be affected by the new regulations.

Greece plastic ban
Plastic waste. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Retailers supplying plastic will be fined

The law, which is meant to harmonize Cyprus with the EU directive on reducing the impact of plastic products on the environment, was passed earlier this year. MPs had previously approved amendments for extensions to the implementation date of April 30th. These amendments allowed retailers to sell single-use plastic products until September 30th if they had imported these before July 3, 2021, when all EU member states should have adopted the directive into law.

Retailers caught supplying the market with such products are hit with fines of up to four thousand euros and twenty thousand euros in case large quantities are found on shelves.

According to the EU, single-use products represent seventy percent of all marine waste.

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