Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Farm Plastics Recycling: Discussion

Photo of Michael CollinsMichael Collins (Cork South West, Independent)
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First, I am involved in farming, but it is only the wrap bales I am involved with - the smaller cycle of work. I thank Mr. Fitzgerald for appearing before the committee. It has been three years since concerns of a critical nature that there was going to be a problem down the road were highlighted. There have been a few Ministers in that time, and some of them went as far as saying that they would offer any assistance they could. Here we are in 2021 and the horse has well and truly bolted. Why was this issue not resolved? That is one question. Why was support never given to an Irish recycling plant, such as Barrington and Filco? Private individuals invested millions and would have worked well if they were guaranteed a decent gate fee from the IFFPG. Hundreds of jobs could have been created instead of high-ranking officials creating more jobs for the boys, in my view, in the initial establishment of the IFFPG and later. Also, why did the IFFPG not operate the tried and tested Repak model, where significant subsidies were passed directly to Irish recyclers? If it had, we would now have an industry that is self-sufficient in terms of recycling.

I might have another question after that, but I would appreciate it if Mr. Fitzgerald could answer that.