Speaking in response to the announcement of new rules on plastic waste, announced today by the European Commission, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan TD: “We wholeheartedly welcome the new rules being introduced by the European Commission today to reduce the single use of plastics.
“The measures are a mirror image of what is being proposed in our Waste Reduction Bill. The Government have fought against our Bill every step of the way but they should now change tack and support what the Commission Environmental NGOs and the rest of the political system agree has to be done.
The Commission want an outright ban on plastic cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers and sticks for balloons, which is exactly what is provided for in our Bill.
“The new rules will also ensure that single use plastic cups and food containers cannot be provided free of charge, which is why we are also proposing a 15 cent ‘latte levy’ on plastic cups to fund a new compostable litter collection system.
The third main measure is the demand that 90% of single use plastic bottles must be recycled by 2025. That can only be achieved by the introduction of a nationwide deposit refund scheme which we are proposing and which the Commission also recommends.
“At a press conference to announce the rules this morning, European Vice President Timmermans said we are now in a race to see who can introduce these measures quickest. Our Government needs to wake up and smell the coffee. They need to stop blocking our legislation and start getting on the right side of the new sustainable economy that is rapidly evolving.”
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