Written answers

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Waste Management

Photo of Róisín ShortallRóisín Shortall (Dublin North West, Social Democrats)
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5. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the information available to his Department regarding the quantity of polystyrene imported into Ireland on an annual basis; the arrangements for the disposal of this product; if consideration has been given to banning the importation of this product, similar to a number of European countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46137/22]

Photo of Róisín ShortallRóisín Shortall (Dublin North West, Social Democrats)
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14. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the quantity of polystyrene imported here on an annual basis; the arrangements for the disposal of the product; if consideration has been given to banning the importation of the product similar to a number of European countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46366/22]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 5 and 14 together.

My Department does not hold data on the quantity of polystyrene being imported to Ireland.

Polystyrene is accepted at some Civic Amenity sites for disposal and is also accepted by a number of outlets for recycling.

Polystyrene packaging is subject to Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) provisions which ensures that producers of all such packaging are liable for the costs associated with the collection, transport and treatment of the packaging they place on the market in addition to the costs of providing adequate information to waste holders and data gathering agencies.

Ireland’s national packaging compliance scheme has introduced an eco-modulation model for plastic packaging to drive environmental considerations and members who place recyclable packaging material on the market incur fees lower than those for non-recyclable materials. This model is extending to other packaging materials.

The EU Single Use Plastics Directive was transposed into Irish law in July last year and banned a range of single-use items from being placed on the Irish market, including expanded polystyrene cups and food containers.

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