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Microbead ban a victory for slow learners – Boylan

27 April, 2017 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan says the Irish Government’s decision to reverse its position and press ahead with a ban on plastic microbeads is a victory for slow learners. The Dublin MEP had been sharply critical of the Government and of Minister Denis Naughten in September last, when they tried to hide behind the EU treaty as an excuse for not supporting a prohibition on the environmentally damaging product.

Ms Boylan said:

“Microbeads are very small plastic beads, commonly found in cosmetic and personal care products such as facial scrubs or toothpastes, which have been found in large quantities in the marine environment and are being ingested by wildlife.

“In November, when the Government tried to sidestep this issue by claiming the EU would not permit unilateral action by a Member State, I reminded them that the European Commission had already assured the British Government as recently as August that it could proceed to introduce a ban on microbeads. The Commission explicitly stated that ‘a ban on certain substances on environmental grounds could also be compatible with the internal market’.

“I am delighted therefore, to see that sense has prevailed, albeit following a wave of bad publicity, and that Minister Naughten has finally found the courage to follow the lead of the French and British Governments by banning microbeads now, rather than wait for an EU-wide directive.” 

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