Thursday, 28 November 2019
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
Michael Lowry (Tipperary, Independent)
I accept that a good job is being done in collection for recycling, but the problem is that we are collecting this plastic and it is piling up. It has no place to go. Anybody who looks at this sensibly would say that the classification method is a nonsense. This plastic waste is usually covered with nothing other than muck or dry clay. It should be classified as green. Will the Tánaiste ask the authorities in the city council if this waste could be reclassified as green?
Private sector operators should have pro rataaccess to the moneys collected through the levy. As it currently stands, IFFPG has a monopoly on all moneys collected, even though it only handles some 70% of the plastic.
In circumstances where the IFFPG has substantial net assets and cash in excess of €3.7 million on hand, it should be tasked with establishing an Irish recycling facility and supporting places like Littleton in the private sector. These types of initiative would be logical and would use the moneys held by that company on behalf of the State. In fact, they are farmers' moneys and should be better spent. The Government needs to acknowledge that while the management policy in respect of the collection of plastics over the past 20 years has been good, it has also been an exercise in short-term thinking dealing only with the collection of farm plastics. There is no long-term strategy but that is what we need to consider.