As of April 2002, the Packaging and Waste Packaging Law (L.32(1)/2002) was enacted and has come into force. The provisions of the Law concerning the management of packaging waste are particularly important. A significant innovation introduced by the Law is the implementation of the “Producer Responsibility” principle. Under this principle any manufacturer or importer of products who places packaging into market has the obligation to recover and recycle a percentage of this packaging as mentioned in the Law.
It should be noted that the above legislation has been amended and will henceforth be referred to as the Packaging and Packaging Waste (Amending) Law of 2020 and will be read together with the Packaging and Packaging Waste Laws of 2002 to 2017 (hereinafter referred to as " the Basic Law ”) and the Basic Law and this Law will be referred to together as the Packaging and Packaging Waste Laws of 2002 to 2019.
It should also be mentioned that based on the approval of the System of Collective Management of Packaging and Packaging Waste 2020 to 2026, by the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, dated 19 June 2020, which concerns the quantitative targets per packaging material, should:
Achieve maximum recycling of 70% of packaging waste.
In addition, based on the approval, the recovery and recycling targets for each material are as follows:
• 50% by weight, for plastics
• 25% by weight, for wood
• 70% by weight, for ferrous metals
• 50% by weight, for aluminum
• 70% by weight, for glass
• 75% by weight for paper and cardboard
WHICH ORGANISATIONS ARE OBLIGATED
Obligated organizations under the Law are considered to be:
Companies which produce and package or employ third parties to package on their behalf (with neutral packaging or packaging that bears their name) goods with the purpose of marketing them in Cyprus.
Companies which import packaged goods with the purpose of trading them in Cyprus.
Companies which import packaged goods with the purpose of using them for their own purposes (raw material, machinery spare parts and equipment, a.o.),
Companies which as movers (supermarkets, commercial stores) package or see to the packaging on their behalf of goods under their private label with the purpose of trade them in Cyprus,
Companies which use facilitating packages, either without a brand name or under their own label. This kind of packaging is used to the point where the service is offered to consumers or users in combination with the provision of goods or services. In this category are for example, wrapping paper, paper or other bread bags, pizza boxes, supermarket and other commercial stores bags, bags handed out at exhibitions and other shows, etc.,
Companies which offer free packaged goods as a means of promotion or as samples.
It is clarified that the obligation in Cyprus concerns only products placed into the Cyprus market (not exports or re-exports).
In every case, obligated is the organization which first places the products into the market (the first which produced or the first which has imported and released in Cyprus).
WHAT DOES “PLACE PACKAGING IN THE MARKET” MEAN
In order to consider that a company has placed packaging into the market it should:
Either itself directly imports products to Cyprus (or a third party imports on its behalf by under its own special order) (raw material, spare parts a.o.), which the company itself has used in its producing process.
Either it has placed into the Cyprus market directly or through third parties packaged products which it has either produced or imported directly by itself.
It is also clarified that products which have been produced, imported or held in warehouses and have not been made available to consumers as yet would not be considered as having been placed in the market.
In the case also where products which have been produced or imported are not finally made available to consumers and therefore should be thrown away as waste, as packaged products, then these products are not considered as having been placed in the market and no obligation on their packaging emerges under the Packaging and Packaging Waste Law. Such waste is considered industrial waste of the company concerned.
HOW TO MEET OBLIGATIONS STEMMING FROM THE PACKAGING AND WASTE PACKAGING LAW (L.32(1)/2002).
How to meet the obligation of informing the Authorities?
Obligated organizations for packaging must provide exact data to the government concerning the mass of packaging they place in the Cyprus market and demonstrate the manner in which they have received proof that their packaging has been recovered and recycled. They should submit this information annually to the Environment Service of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment.
How to meet the obligation of recovery when the packaging which you placed in the market exceeds two tons
(i) With an individual Recovery System
A company which chooses to develop an Individual Packaging Recovery System should:
- Prove to the state that it is implementing a guaranteed system
- Submit to the competent authority data that concern the description of the system it implements as concerns targets and methods, the technical and financial infrastructure it has for the implementation of the system and details of the manner of operation in order to establish the capability of its compliance with the Law.
- Pay the approved fee the amount of which corresponds with the cost of examining its application by the competent authorities
- Demonstrate that the recyclable material recovered end up in recycling in accordance with the requirements of the law
- Specifically you must draft a detailed list with the packaging for which you are Obligated. You must then contact all your clients in order to find out what they do with the packaging as soon as your products are put into use. You must also collect and recover the packaging waste either by yourselves or through other associates you may have.
- Then you must compare these two flows of information as described above, in order to ensure that you are achieving the quantities of recovery and recycling set by the Law.
- You must repeat this exercise every year.
Obligations of a Collective Compliance System
A company which opts to contractually join a Collective Compliance System for Packaging Waste Management should be aware that the Collective System:
- Represents many obligated organizations
- It’ s a non-profit organization
- Submits detailed business planning to the competent authorities and is licensed for a six-year period.
- It undertakes the collective obligation on the total of packaging which its members place in the market (the packaging however no longer has an identity
- It develops collective and large-scale activities capable of achieving the targets of recovery and recycling which it undertakes on behalf of its members.
Also the interested company should be aware that:
Its participation in the Collective Management System requires the payment of contribution to the system by all its member companies.
When the member pays its contribution to the Collective System then it is RELIEVED of any responsibility for packaging management and the responsibility is TRANSFERRED to the Collective System.