Waterford Council trumps government with plastic-reducing measures
Sinn Féin area representative Conor D. McGuinness has said that the recently announced move by Government to remove single-use plastics from the state procurement system is to be welcomed, however, added, "it does not go far enough and falls fall short of the position adopted by Waterford City and County Council last year."
Conor D. McGuinness said: “While the proposals announced by the Minister in relation to single-use plastics are a step in the right direction, the Government is seriously behind the curve when it comes to the fight against plastic pollution."
“Waterford City and County Council led the way last year in adopting a five-point plan to address the amount of plastic waste created here. The Government will effectively only sign up to just one of these points, and that’s just not good enough."
“Ireland is ranked the second worst in Europe when it comes to environmental protection. There is so much the Government could be doing to address this shameful situation and to contribute to reducing pollution and fighting climate change. One million plastic drink bottles are used every minute worldwide and only 10% of these are recycled. Ireland has the second highest plastic bottle consumption in the EU, around 155 bottles per person per year."
“Sinn Féin published the Waste Reduction Bill in 2017, which would introduce a deposit-return scheme for drinks bottles and cans as well as increased penalties for illegal dumping, attracting support from other parties and independents."
“Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have sought to frustrate the bill at every opportunity and it remains at the second stage in the Dáil. Deposit refund schemes operate efficiently and effectively across Europe and the Scottish Government has recently signalled its intention to introduce one," Conor said.
“Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil need to account for their failure to take decisive action on plastic pollution and catch up with the initiatives being taken by local authorities and private citizens alike.”