Written by Georgia Nicolaou
EU Project Manager
Center for Social Innovation
Unfortunately in Cyprus there are no specific laws or regulations which deal with Circular Economy issues and there is a general lack of environmental policies and guidelines. However, Cyprus is under an obligation as a member state of the European Union, to comply with the European laws, and especially with the new draft EU Climate Law and the new Action Plan for a Circular Economy. The EU Action Plan for Circular Economy was adopted by the European Commission in March 2020 and it represents one of the main blocks of the European Green Deal for sustainable growth.
The EU Action Plan for Circular Economy introduced legislative and non-legislative measures to promote circular work for people, make sustainable products, ensure less waste and empower consumers.
Such directives and legislation play a catalytic role in the upgrading and further development of the legislative framework in regards to the circular economy in Cyprus. The legal framework in Cyprus has been partially harmonized with the European legislation mainly through the enactment of the Law on Waste of 2011 (185 (I) / 2011) which adopts the basic principles of Directive 2008/98 / EC. However, according to Ioannou there is not enough specialized legislation on specific categories of waste, and regulations and decrees are either scarce or limited . The Cyprus government has also amended 5 laws in order to set new and ambitious targets for the separate collection and management of waste and the recycling of packaging by 2035 .
In regards to circular economy as a business model and circular economy and entrepreneurship, Cyprus scored only 62 in the 2018 assessment for eco-innovation (EU average = 100) . Also, Cyprus has only registered an average of 1.4 full-time green employees per Small and Medium Enterprise . Consequently, it can be concluded that Cyprus is also slow in introducing a legal framework and policies regarding circular economy linked to entrepreneurship. However, the government in cooperation with several organizations have tried to introduce several projects and initiatives to promote a circular economy business model in line with EU regulations. For example, the “Business4Climate” initiative, developed by the government, several universities and public authorities, aims at reducing the company’s emissions by 2030, subsidized for their low-carbon investments with an amount proportional to the amount of emissions they will curb.