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Single use plastics move by Government welcome, but so much more needs to be done and soon – Stanley

4 January, 2019 - by Brian Stanley TD

Sinn Féin Climate Action spokesperson Brian Stanley TD has welcomed the move by Government to remove single use plastics from the state procurement system and to mandate sustainable practices by state bodies, but said that the pace of change from Fine Gael in relation to climate change has been glacial and that a lot more needs to be done at a much faster rate.

The Laois TD said:

“The proposals announced by Minister for the Environment in relation to single use plastics are of course welcome, but the Government is seriously behind the times when it comes to the fight against climate change.

“We are ranked the second worst in Europe in this effort and there is so much more the Government could do. In July 2017, I published the Waste Reduction (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, which has languished without Government support.

“The Bill proposed methods such as a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles, glass bottles and aluminium cans and a provision for an increase in fines for illegal dumping. These are just some of the measures that the Government should be seriously considering.

“When China announced that they would cease accepting plastic waste for recycling last year, the need to cut down on our use of plastics was clear, but the Government dragged their heels as always. We must tackle waste at source and reduce the massive volumes of waste being produced by manufacturers and wholesalers.

“The Government should not just ‘lead the way’ as the Minister says. The timeline for climate change has progressed too far for that. We need decisive action as legislators to cut plastics and cut emissions. It is narrow minded folly to ignore our responsibilities any longer.” 

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