Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Call for better labelling of products to encourage more recycling

22 December, 2008

Sinn Fein's Paul Butler has called for better labelling on household products to inform the public what products can be recycled. With the huge amount of waste we will create over Christmas we need to be doing more to encourage people to recycle more of their household waste.

Speaking today Mr Butler:

"The reality is that we are creating more and more waste every year. At least 50% of landfill waste should not be there in the first place. Other estimates of the percentage of recoverable waste are much higher at up to 80%. A huge amount of this is packaging waste from household products.

"At present they are little or nothing on many of the products to inform or encourage people to recycle. Many of the plastic bottles, cartons and other items such as some cardboards and paper products carry no information about recycling. In fact it is confusing to many people which products they can recycle and often people just simply do not bother to recycle.

"At this time of the year when the amount of waste we create due to the Christmas period increases significantly many people still do not know which of their household waste can be recycled.

Part of the solution should be better labelling of products to inform people that it can be recycled. Clear labelling and a bold recycling logo on products would also encourage people to recycle.

"If we look at the success that the printing of Guideline Daily Allowance on the front of food products we can see that people do pay attention to this.

"Industry must take steps now to label products to help encourage consumers to recycle. The have a major role to play in helping curb the amount of waste which is going into landfill.

"In the long term legislation should be implemented to force industry to label products in such a way that it will help bring about more recycling. The reality is that industry must take steps to deal with the waste their economic activities create.

"I would like to see the Environment Minister, Sammy Wilson examine this proposal for waste management and recycling in order to cut on the amounts of waste being produced.

"The crux of the matter is if we don't seize this opportunity to try and cut waste we will all be fined by Europe for not reaching specified targets. It really is in all our interests to deal with this pressing issue."

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