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Fine Gael MEPs are undermining work on the plastics crisis - Lynn Boylan MEP

29 May, 2018 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan, currently a member of the team drafting the new EU Plastics Directive has reacted with astonishment to the opportunism of Fine Gael MEPs. 

Speaking today from Strasbourg, the Dublin MEP stated:

 “As the Shadow Rapporteur of the new Single-Use Plastics legislative file in the European Parliament, I am shocked by the opportunistic soundbites from Fine Gael MEPs in the media, acting as nothing more than mouthpieces for the Commission while laying out no political position on the file. 

"Their lack of real engagement with the file undermines the hard work many of us are doing to ensure binding new rules on plastics so the crisis is dealt with effectively.

“It's near laughable that Fine Gael MEPs are welcoming this proposal, given that we have seen very little action from the Government on curbing Ireland's waste problems at a time when Ireland is the biggest producer of plastic waste in the EU. 

"Instead, we have been met with a lazy government unwilling to stand up to domestic recycling charges and blocking bills on the matter."

On the recent comments of Fine Gael MEPs, Ms. Boylan said:

“Recent written questions submitted by Mairead McGuinness and Deirdre Clune in the European Parliament concerning biodegradable plastics show a lack of understanding of the complexity of the plastics crisis and distract from the main message which must be that of reduction of plastic use.  

"The Fine Gael government should stand up for households, be proactive on phase outs and restrictions and start developing Irish recycling capacity, but instead they are clearly more interested in ensuring a solution designed by the plastics industry itself.

“Fine Gael seem to have blind faith in the magical techno-fixes, such as biodegradable plastics, which are only distractions from what needs to be the key message of reduction and binding rules on industrial production. 

"I'm sure they would love our plastic problem to just biodegrade away - a seemingly easy solution, endorsed by the plastics industry itself, but involves no tangible hard action. 

"Fine Gael are clearly too soft on this issue, pandering to industry, while riding the popularity wave of this plastics strategy as it stands."

 Ms. Boylan concluded:

“When it comes to good news stories from Europe, Fine Gael MEPs are quick off the mark with their soundbites. However when it comes to commenting on actual solutions to crises, they are nowhere to be heard. 

"The EU Commission proposal gives lots of scope to Member States to be far more ambitious so let's see action from the Irish Government instead of soundbites."

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