Chairperson of the Oireachtas Climate Action Committee, Hildegarde Naughton, has said Fine Gael is committed to tackling plastic waste and increasing the level of plastic recycling.
She said that Fine Gael have taken a number of steps to increase the level of plastic recycling and Ireland has consistently exceeded the current EU plastic recycling target of 22.5%, with the most up to date figures showing that we recycled 35.7% of plastics in 2016.
“Fine Gael are committed to significantly increasing our plastic recycling rate to 55% by 2030 and Minister Bruton will be looking at the actions needed to meet this target. Also, we strongly support an EU proposal to reduce the impact of certain single use plastic products, which proposes a ban on certain plastic products, targets for reducing the use of certain plastics and obligations for producers to cover the costs of waste management and clean up,” she said.
Deputy Naughton was speaking following the Government decision not to oppose the Green Party motion on single use plastics and to conduct a review of the Waste Reduction Bill, which is currently stalled in the Oireachtas.
“I believe only one aspect of the Green’s Waste Reduction Bill is problematic. The Deposit and Return scheme and the cost of such a scheme compared to the benefits. I am delighted that the new Minster for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Richard Bruton TD, has committed to a review.
“As the Taoiseach said in the Dáil, if the review comes to the conclusion that the scheme will be beneficial, steps will be taken to put it in place.
“Minister Bruton has committed to looking at the Green Party Bill with a fresh pair of eyes. I think this is a very positive development, however we need to see what conclusions are reached before the Minister can agree to the passage of legislation through the house.
“Having carefully scrutinised the Green Party’s Bill in my Committee, I fully support my colleague’s efforts to progress appropriate legislation through the Oireachtas. Yesterday’s announcement is another step in that direction,” she said.