House Environment Committee closely monitors recycling issues, its Chairman tells CNA

House Environment Committee closely monitors recycling issues, its Chairman tells CNA

Issues relating to the reuse, reduction and recycling of waste are often included in the agenda of the House Environment Committee, its Chairman Adamos Adamou tells CNA in an interview, noting that all relevant legislation and regulations are passed by Parliament immediately.

It is then up to the government and citizens as individuals to introduce recycling in their daily life, he points out.

At the same time he expresses the point of view that an environmental culture has started being cultivated in elementary schools in Cyprus and children become the best ambassadors for recycling and environmental issues.

Asked how often the Environment Committee monitors matters relating to the reuse, reduction and recycling of waste, Adamou assures that the Committee “monitors on a regular basis recycling matters and has had quite a few meetings on the matter”.

The House Environment Committee, he says, has shown particular interest in the effort to establish 33 Green Points throughout Cyprus.

“On quite a few occasions we have had meetings in the presence of students during which we were also briefed on the recycling actions in eco – schools”, he adds.

“Waste recycling is on the House Environment Committee`s agenda on a daily basis”, he tells CNA.

Replying to a question on the issues the Committee has looked into in the last year, Adamou says it has dealt mainly with matters such as household waste management, toxic and dangerous waste management, tyre recycling, electronic equipment and old vehicles management, as well as the recycling of agricultural products.

Recently, he adds, the Committee looked into the recycling of tapes and many other recycling issues.

He highlights the importance of both citizens and businesses being active in recycling since it has been proven that very good products can be produced as a result.

At the same time he assures that Parliament as a legislative body and the Environment Committee in particular “discuss and vote all relevant legislation and regulations immediately”.

It is then up to the state and all citizens to introduce recycling in their daily lives, he adds.

Asked about efforts to improve Cyprus’ ranking vis-à-vis other EU member states, he said “the fact that we are at the bottom of the list of countries on waste issues and environmental matters in general is not to our credit”.

Legislation is passed, he notes, “but there is still much to be done in practice and unfortunately the economic crisis is an obstacle to our efforts for the implementation of good practices”.

Adamou further points out that anything everyone can do as an individual to introduce recycling in their life and make it part of it can only bring benefits. In this respect, he notes, “the effort will become a collective one until we can, as a state, do what is necessary”.

Replying to questions, he says that Cypriots` attitude on environmental issues in general has changed in recent years.

“Our attitude has been changing in recent years, I would say mostly from the moment we acceded to the EU”, he notes.

I think, he adds, “that we have rightly started cultivating an environmental culture in schools, starting from elementary education”. According to Adamou, the difference is already evident in children, who are now the best ambassadors on recycling and generally on environmental issues.

At the same time he recognises that there is still a long way to go until adults become properly aware of matters to do with recycling and reuse of waste and how much each individual can do with certain simple actions in order to contribute to environmental protection and to cultivate awareness about such issues.

** The interview is published 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 **