The Green Party are introducing a motion today calling for the government to take decisive action on the problem of plastic waste. They are asking the new Minister for Communications, Climate Action, and the Environment to fully support the Green Party’s Waste Reduction Bill, which has received broad cross-party support but is currently being held up by Government at committee stage.
Ireland is the top producer of plastic waste in Europe, producing the equivalent of nearly 2,000
water bottles or 5,550 disposable coffee cups per person per annum. The Waste Reduction Bill seeks to combat this by introducing a deposit and refund scheme for drinks containers and imposing a ban on single-use plastics such as plastic coffee cups. Similar schemes have been introduced successfully in countries such as the Netherlands, Finland, and Sweden, resulting in recycling rates of over 90%.
Green Party representative for Dublin Mid West, Peter Kavanagh said, “Plastic waste spoils the natural beauty of our countryside and is a plague on our towns and villages. It’s terrible for tourism. Clondalkin has seen an increase in tourists staying locally recently, and a lot of the feedback I’m hearing is how much litter can be seen despite the best efforts of Clondalkin Tidy Towns. A deposit refund scheme would create an incentive for people to dispose of drinks containers properly. I’ve seen it firsthand when I lived and worked in Austria. It’s about time the government got behind our efforts to tackle this problem.”