9th September 2021 | Press Releases

Green Ministers announce ban on smoky solid fuels, new recycling options and funding for outdoor dining


Minister Ryan announces new standards for domestic solid fuels

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan TD marked International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies on Tuesday, 7th September, by announcing the new standards for all domestic solid fuels that will be introduced across the State within a year.

Poor air quality causes premature deaths and each year some 1,300 people die in Ireland due to air pollution from solid fuel burning. This demonstrates the extent to which the choices we make when heating our homes can impact on our own health and the communities in which we live.

“When this Government was formed, we gave a commitment to tackle air pollution caused by domestic solid fuel burning, and we remain committed to doing so,” Minister Ryan said. “We took a major step earlier this year, with a public consultation on the development of new solid fuels regulations for Ireland. We received more than 3,500 responses across all strands of the consultation, with a wide variety of suggested regulatory approaches for solid fuels.

“Having considered the submissions made by the public, health experts, advocacy groups, academia and industry, a framework for legislation has been developed and drafting of the regulations is underway.” 

Minister Martin announces €9 million for Outdoor Dining facilities across Ireland

Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport, Gaeltacht and Media, Catherine Martin TD  this week announced the locations of 38 permanent Outdoor Dining facilities to be developed in 19 counties nationwide. All Local Authorities were invited to apply to Fáilte Ireland for funding to develop streets and public spaces to facilitate year-round weather-proofed outdoor dining in urban tourism centres.

“The aim of this Scheme is to support tourism and hospitality jobs and help businesses develop new ways of catering for domestic and international tourists outdoors. Access to outdoor dining facilities will continue to be a key part of industry recovery as we look forward to 2022 and beyond. This scheme further strengthens the Government’s deep commitment to develop tourism and necessary infrastructure nationwide,” Minister Martin said.

Minister Martin publishes programme of events to mark important centenary

Minister Martin also this week published a programme of events to mark the centenary of various aspects of the Anglo-Irish Treaty which was signed on the 6th December 1921.

The Programme highlights some of the key national events taking place to mark various centenaries associated with the Treaty.  Foremost of these is the National Archives exhibition in the Coach House at Dublin Castle later this year where the Treaty document will be displayed in public for the first time since its signing 100 years ago.

“This centenary moment is a really significant event in our shared history and a key focus in this year’s Decade of Centenaries Programme,” Minister Martin said. “It is also a personal journey into family memory for the relatives of the men and women who formed the Irish and British Treaty negotiation delegations.   I wanted to ensure that the Programme has something that interests everyone.  You don’t need to be an historian or an expert on this period of history to appreciate the different stories attached to this key document and the impact it had on future events.” 

“I am also encouraged to see that our artists and musicians continue to use the Decade of Centenaries as a source of inspiration for rich and exciting new work.  The innovative approach of ANU Productions working with Poet Theo Dorgan to stage the treaty debates in the National Concert Hall will bring this key moment in our history to life in a completely unique way.”

Minister Smyth announces all plastic waste can now be placed in recycling bins

Minister of State with special responsibility for Communications and Circular Economy, Ossian Smyth TD announced this week that all plastic packaging waste – including soft plastic – can now be placed in Irish household recycling bins as long as it is clean, dry and loose. The development is part of the effort to fulfil commitments in relation to plastic packaging recycling as outlined in the Government’s Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy.

“This is a significant and very positive development in Irish recycling and waste management”, Minister Smyth said. “Soft plastics have been added to the household recycling list due to advancements in technology at Irish recycling facilities. This is welcome news as we work to reach EU recycling targets. Currently in Ireland we recycle less than a third of all plastic packaging waste. We have committed to increasing our plastic packaging recycling figure to 50% by 2025 and 55% by 2030. This announcement is a significant step towards achieving these targets.”