Written answers

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Waste Management

Photo of John LahartJohn Lahart (Dublin South West, Fianna Fail)
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212. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the impediments there are to banning single use plastic bottles. [44005/19]

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin Bay North, Fine Gael)
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Article 18 of the EU Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste prohibits Member States from impeding the placing on the market of their territory of packaging which satisfies the provisions of this Directive. Plastic bottles fall under the definition of packaging for the purposes of this Directive.

However, we are committed to leading the way in reducing single use plastics and are working both at a national and European level to tackle the problem. The Government has:

- Agreed that Government departments and bodies will no longer purchase single-use plastic cups, cutlery and straws

- Strongly supported new EU legislation on Single-use Plastic (SUP), which will ban straws, cotton bud sticks made from plastic, plastic plates and cutlery, plastic coffee stirrers and plastic balloon holders

- Commenced a clean oceans initiative to collect, reduce and reuse marine litter and clean up our marine environment (by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine)

- Commissioned a review to establish the best way to reach a 90% collection target for beverage containers, after which the Minister will announce the necessary actions

- Introduced a new law to ban microbeads (by the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government).

We have committed to a 90% separate plastic bottle collection target and a 55% recycling target for all plastic packaging. Further consideration of measures to tackle single use plastics will be undertaken in the context of developing a Circular Economy Strategy.


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