Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Farm Plastics Recycling: Discussion

Photo of Eugene MurphyEugene Murphy (Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I thank Mr. Fitzgerald. I am from Roscommon. Listening to Mr. Fitzgerald, he has opened my eyes to this matter. I would have known about it but, to be honest, I would not nearly have the grasp that he has of it. The difficulties that exist there are quite serious. I was called away to take a phone call but I have two questions. I am sorry if Mr. Fitzgerald has been asked them already. Would Mr. Fitzgerald accept, because of its seriousness, that there is a far greater need for the State to become involved to sort this matter out as a matter of urgency? After all, we are talking about improving the environment. It has already been mentioned by Deputy Flathery that farmers have in recent years cleaned up their act in relation to plastic along roadways and even around their farmers and they do not want it, but if we have this problem of not being able to get rid of it, it certainly causes a problem for the farmers on the ground. That is the first question.

The second question is on whether any research is being done in any of our institutions - and I am thinking of the status of Athlone Institute of Technology, AIT, changing to university status - or are universities coming up with a model with which we could deal with this matter? We definitely have to get involved and sort this matter out.

I thank the witness for his address. I found it very good and I would like to communicate with him more on the issue.


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