Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government

Prohibition of Micro-Plastics Bill 2016: Discussion (Resumed)

9:30 am

Dr. Róisín Nash:

My perspective is that we have seen much of the Irish research that is going on. We are also involved in EU projects like BASEMAN. We are only now developing methodologies to standardise sampling microplastics in order that the studies can be compared. I am looking at it from a larger perspective. If we go with the legislation as is, we are missing the point in one sense. I will use an analogy. Everyone here has been at a GAA match. The legislation is focusing on the umpire on the sideline as opposed to what is actually happening in the game. It is such a small part. It is important and I do not disregard it. We could go home and everybody will recognise a microbead and everybody knows that it is bad. However, by focusing our legislation on that, we are missing a huge element of the issue. We need to have more evidence. A lot of research is coming on board and within the next 12 months, we definitely will have a huge amount more that we can put towards the legislation. We do not know, with confidence, where to identify all the sources, their quantities, the locations of the hotspots or how we can mitigate against it. If we put in this legislation, we will miss a lot of mitigation that essentially could stop it down the line. We just recently have-----


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