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Sinn Féin welcomes EU commitment to waste minimisation - Bairbre de Brún

17 November, 2004


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has highlighted the importance of reduction, re-use and recycling in helping the environment and dealing with packaging and packaging waste.

Ms de Brún was speaking after she had addressed a European Parliament debate in Strasbourg to set target dates for the implementation of the Packaging Directive for the 10 states that joined the EU in May 2004.

Speaking from Strasbourg, Ms de Brún said:

"The revised EU Packaging Directive is another important step towards environmental strategies and policies which focus on waste minimisation, recovery, re-use and recycling.

"Throughout Ireland, similar directives have already had a positive impact on changing government practice and public mindsets with respect to both domestic and commercial waste management. Clearly there is much work to be done, both in Ireland to meet existing EU directives, and across the EU to continue the process of managing waste more effectively and in more environmentally sensitive ways.

"I also want to stress the importance of deadlines for ensuring that member states reach the targets agreed by the EU, including deadlines for the newest member states.

"At local government level, the directive deadlines for shifting from landfill to recycling has meant that local authorities from Belfast to Dublin are actively pursuing new forms of waste management. Likewise government departments have been moved by the setting of deadlines to concentrate their efforts.

"Sinn Féin recognise that the right to a clean environment requires both EU and national investment in sustainable development. A clean environment is not only a public good but a fundamental social right in need of protection." ENDS

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