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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 29 Nov 2016

Vol. 930 No. 3

Prohibition of Micro-Plastics Bill 2016: First Stage

I move:

That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled Bill an Act to prohibit the manufacture, sale and import of any cosmetic product containing micro-plastics as a raw material, and to provide for related matters.

The Deputy has five minutes.

I will put the House back on track timewise. I will finish well within five minutes.

I seek leave to introduce the Bill. It was introduced by the Green Party and roundly rejected by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael in the Seanad last week. The arguments relating to the transparency directive and, in particular, in respect of the articles relating to the free movement of goods and services on which the Bill was rejected are spurious. However, Article 36 provides the protection of human health and flora and fauna and protection of marine life. We believe strongly that there is a precedent in respect of this type of legislation. When the smoking ban was introduced by former Minister for Health, Deputy Micheál Martin, there was a notification period of three months but it did not prevent the legislation from going through the House. It got fair wind and a fair passage. This legislation is similar in so far as everybody in the House has stated that they support it. Fianna Fáil, as I understand it, is on record as saying that it would introduce its own Bill because it felt the Green Party Bill was not strident enough in respect of the penalties it proposed. We are happy to have this Bill amended in any way if Fianna Fáil feels strongly enough that the measures we propose are not strident enough in respect of the banning of micro-plastics.

We also feel strongly that there is not a sufficient momentum on the part of the European Commission to legislate in this area. Given the important role of member states, it is appropriate that they should in their own right introduce public health measures that they deem appropriate in the public interest. I hope there will be cross-party support for this. This is an opportune Bill because it seeks to address the issues raised by the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government in response to the Green Party and Senator Grace O'Sullivan in the Seanad last week. It is opportune without being opportunistic.

Is the Bill opposed?

Question put and agreed to.

Since this is a Private Members' Bill, Second Stage must, under Standing Orders, be taken in Private Members' time.

I move: "That the Bill be taken in Private Members' time."

Question put and agreed to.