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Self-regulation will not solve plastic waste problem – Boylan

18 January, 2018 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has welcomed the announcement of a plastic strategy by the European Commission.

Speaking from Strasbourg, the Dublin MEP said:

“The issue of plastic pollution is one that we cannot ignore and a strategy to deal with it is long overdue.

“The Commission’s proposals are comprehensive, including measures to clamp down significantly on single use plastics such as drinking straws and takeaway cups, improved access to tap water on the streets to curb bottled water use and increased funding for research into better design, durability and recyclability of plastics.

“However, I do have concerns about the Commission’s blind faith in the social conscience of the private sector to deliver on these proposals. The Commission referring to an industry pledge to reduce plastic waste as a ‘concrete’ measure is bizarre given our experiences with industry pledges in the past.  Self-regulation does not work.  What we really need to address the urgency of the situation with plastic pollution are binding rules and targets for industry.

“Ireland is looking to introduce its own measures to tackle some plastics and I sincerely hope that Minister Denis Naughten takes a more robust approach to industry than the EU Commission has.  Ireland is the top plastic waste producer in Europe and now that China has announced it will no longer take that plastic for recycling. We need strong measures and we need them fast.” 

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