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Enough Fine Gael PR spin on plastics- Lynn Boylan MEP

28 January, 2019 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

The Department of Communications, Climate Change and Environment announced today that Minister Bruton will conduct a major review on single use plastic and deposit return schemes (DRS).

Reacting to the statement, Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan said:

"The separate collection of plastic bottles is essential for ensuring that they are actually recycled, and not just shredded up and exported for treatment abroad. The new Single Use Plastics Directive acknowledges this and introduces separate collection targets for plastic bottles, including with their caps and lids."

"The original target voted by the European Parliament was to achieve, at the latest, 90% separate collection by 2025. However, this was then pushed four years down the line to 2029 because Member States in the Council insisted on a delayed deadline.

"Unfortunately, EU Council votes are hidden, but one would have to suspect that the Irish Government were part of the laggard Member States who wanted to push the separation targets as far down the road as possible.

"We know that deposit return schemes work and deliver results quickly. After its introduction in Lithuania, collection rates hit 90%+ within the first year.  The EU Commission have openly said that there was no need to produce Deposit Return guidelines for countries as the schemes had demonstrated their effectiveness over and over.

Ms Boylan continued: 

"Todays announcement by Minister Bruton is more delay tactics. The Minister is not being ambitious in the slightest he is instead capitalising on the current public interest in plastic waste without showing the sense of urgency that is required to tackle it.

"The new Single Use Plastic Directive does not compel countries to adhere to the 2029 deadline, countries who want to, can and should be far more ambitious.  If Minister Bruton wants to show that he is actually committed to making a difference and not just grabbing the headlines, then he should stop the delay tactics, stop pandering to lobbyists and instead fast track the introduction of a deposit return scheme."

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