Written Answers. - Milk Bottles.

John Gormley

Question:

727 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the discussions, if any, he has had with the interested parties in an attempt to save the Premier Milk bottle plant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2079/99]

Gay Mitchell

Question:

730 Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if he will consider the case made by a person (details supplied) in Dublin 6W who is concerned at plans to replace the glass milk bottle for cartons as she believes that the bottle is more environmentally friendly and cheaper to use; if he will examine the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2082/99]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 727 and 730 together.

Alternatives to glass milk bottles are widely used throughout the European Community. The question of which packaging materials, products or packaging systems are environmentally preferable is complex, and a definitive assessment of the best practicable environmental option in any specific circumstances would require appropriate life cycle analysis.

Under Article 18 of European Parliament and Council Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste, member states may not impede the placing on the market of packaging which satisfies the provisions of the directive, i.e. which is in accordance with the essential requirements specified in Annex II of the directive as to the nature and composition of packaging. These requirements are transposed into Irish legislation by means of the Waste Management (Packaging) (Amendment) Regulations, 1998, which have been brought to the attention of the company concerned.