Fine Gael resist ambitious plastic action - Lynn Boylan MEP
Today the European Parliament's approved the new Single Use Plastics Directive, which will see new measures on single use plastic products from bans on plastic plates and cotton buds to awareness raising measures.
Speaking from Strasbourg, Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin Lynn Boylan, the only Irish negotiator on the file, said:
"As I have said since this proposal came forward last year, it is a step in the right direction but falls far short of what we really need to do to transform the plastics economy.
"The plastics industry will not radically shift to a new model with these little tweaks, but the measures in this Directive at least lay a framework for starting this transition, and they have started the conversation.
“The plastics boom is thanks to the fracking boom and the fossil fuel industry’s desperate attempts to secure its future. 90 per cent of plastic comes from fossil fuels.
"Green capitalism will not plug plastics pollution. We need to directly regulate how plastic is produced and ensure high targets for recycled content in all plastic products.
"The Irish government has been a drag on ambition throughout this whole process. Ireland didn't even submit one single amendment at the Council and acquiesced to delayed targets and less restrictions.
"Fine Gael need to stop kowtowing to industry on plastics, talking the big talk while taking no positive action on the file itself.
"The Directive has delayed implementation targets including on the separate collection target rates of 90% for plastic bottles, now not effective till 2029. A target that will effectively oblige Member States to introduce deposit return schemes.
“The Irish Government have dragged their feet on deposit return despite Dáil support for such schemes. Freedom of information requests show that the Irish Government have a very cosy relationship with REPAK, an organisation with a direct conflict of interest in the introduction of deposit return schemes.
"As they do with every single environmental policy area, the Fine Gael Government is all spin and no action."
Note to editors: Lynn Boylan MEP will launch Sinn Fein's Plastics Discussion Document next month.