Written Answers. - Waste Management.

Deirdre Clune

Question:

686 Ms Clune asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the fact that approximately 20% of glass bottles used commercially are non-refundable; the plans he has to address this situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19890/00]

I am not aware of the provenance of the information referred to. With regard to packaging waste generally, the question of which packaging materials, products or packaging systems, for example, reuse or one trip systems, are environmentally preferable is complex, and a definitive assessment of the best practicable environmental option in any specific circumstance requires appropriate life cycle analysis. However, in broad terms, I am satisfied that there may well be scope for greater use of reusable glass beverage containers on the Irish market, and deposit and refund schemes in respect of refillable and reusable beverage containers, currently operating in a small number of EU member states, are being examined. This matter will be addressed in the context of the forthcoming policy statement on waste minimisation, recycling and recovery generally, which will outline the scope of measures to be undertaken in the interests of a sustained improvement in our waste recovery and recycling performance.

Ireland will be supportive of any appropriate policy initiatives at EU level which may be brought forward in the context of the current review of Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste, with a view to improving current performance in relation to the minimisation and reuse of such materials.