Labour and Greens join forces to reduce waste

Issued 6 July 2017

Labour leader Brendan Howlin TD, has today announced that the Labour Party will co-sponsor the Green Party’s Waste Reduction Bill, and use its Private Members’ slot this Tuesday to debate the legislation.

The Bill would see non-biodegradable coffee cups banned from 2020, and introduce a deposit and refund scheme for closed beverage containers.

Deputy Howlin said:

“Labour is happy to co-sponsor this important legislation from our progressive colleagues in the Green Party because it makes sense.

"The Waste Reduction Bill will put in place a deposit and refund scheme for cans and bottles, which is already standard practice across many EU countries, and will ban coffee cups that can’t be composted.

“For too long the Government has dragged its feet on the environment, promising to act but so far, delivering nothing. Look no further than their draft climate mitigation plan which was universally rubbished, and so far we have seen no improvement to that draft.

“When faced with Government inaction on this scale, it is important that progressive voices unite in common cause. Over the past few months for example, both Labour and the Greens also published Bills to ban microbeads.

“We are happy to use our time next week to advance this important legislation, and we call on all parties to support it,” concluded Deputy Howlin.

Welcoming the move, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan TD, added:

“We very much welcome Labour’s support and co-sponsorship of our Waste Reduction Bill 2017.

"There is broad consensus that the measures we’ve proposed are sensible, achievable, and will have a positive impact for the environment and for consumers.

“We want to help householders lower their waste bills by reducing the amount of waste materials at source. The implementation of a deposit refund scheme and the ban of plastic cups will take a few years and will have to be cleverly integrated into the existing Repak recycling system.

"We are convinced this can be done in a way which increases recycling, reduces litter, saves the householder money and wins public support for protecting our environment.

“In Ireland we are producing in the region of 210,000 tonnes of plastic per year. The most recent EPA Waste Packaging Statistics for Ireland 2013, states only 40% of plastic packaging is recycled and according to the National Waste Report in 2011, at least 52.5% of all plastic packaging waste in Ireland went straight to landfill. This awful waste has to stop," concluded Deputy Ryan.