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Minister working on strategy to ban single-use plastics

Minister for Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton has he would like to introduce a nationwide ban on single use plastics and he is considering applying fees to manufacturers who wrap supermarket products in non-recyclable plastics.

Speaking at the Waste Summit in Dublin, Mr Bruton said is working on a strategy which could ban single-use plastic plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks, cotton buds stick, polystyrene cups and food containers, although a levy on the use of such plastics is being considered as a possible stepping stone.

As for non-recyclable plastics, Mr Bruton would also like to end their use but is considering introducing fees for food packaging in supermarkets first.

Mr Bruton said managing resources properly is central to the Climate Action Plan as 60% of greenhouse gas emissions come from our use of materials. 

Meanwhile, the co-ordinator of the organisation for Voice of Concern for the Irish Environment says Ireland needs to “turn off the tap” on plastics and excessive packaging.  Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mindy O’Brien called on retailers to “step up to the plate” and reduce the amount of packaging.  She said VOICE has launched a ‘loose for less’ campaign asking supermarkets to sell loose fruit and vegetables for less than the cost of pre-packaged goods, which tend to be cheaper.

Ms O’Brien ways to buy the product without the packaging in an affordable and easy way need to be examined.  She said that there is a lot of pressure on consumers to do the right thing but it is not always an easy thing to do.

Source – RTE

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