Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action

General Scheme of the Circular Economy Bill 2021: Discussion (Resumed)

Photo of John McGahonJohn McGahon (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank Dr. Brennan for her engagement this morning. It has been excellent so far and it is clear that she has a very in-depth knowledge of this area. It is a pleasure to listen to her. I hear what she is saying about the lack of regulatory certainty. I understand the lack of clarity and I hear what she is saying. I also understand that hers is a very new organisation. This is a new concept and many people are finding their way for the first time.

In the conclusion of her opening statement, Dr. Brennan mentioned closing the knowledge gap as regards the circular economy for the public and for businesses. She mentioned that things like sharing insights could work. Are there any two or three big key things we could do to close that information gap about the circular economy for people in this country? I know it is a big question but does she have an answer off the top of her head?

Dr. Brennan mentioned some local jobs. I saw that County Louth, my part of the world, was mentioned. Could the transition to a circular economy aid with the creation of local employment in particular?

In Dr. Brennan's view, what is the current understanding of the circular economy in Ireland? To what extent are manufacturers and businesses willing to engage in it? Are many businesses still a bit wary and scared of getting involved because of the lack of experience Dr. Brennan mentioned or the lack of someone to come along to tell businesses exactly what they need to do and how to fill in these funding applications? Is it the case that people want to engage but are just fearful of the big unknown? What is the first piece of advice Dr. Brennan would give to a manufacturing company or other businesses coming to her today about trying to implement some form of circularity in their business structures?


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