This Government is committed to leading the way in reducing single use plastics and is working both at a national and European level to tackle the problem. The government has:
- Agreed that Government Departments and bodies will not purchase single-use plastic cups, cutlery and straws
- Strongly supported new EU legislation on Single Use Plastics (SUP), which will ban straws, cotton bud sticks made from plastic, plastic plates and cutlery, plastic coffee stirrers and plastic balloon holders
- Committed to a 90% plastic bottle collection target and a 55% plastic recycling target
- Commenced a clean oceans initiative to collect, reduce and reuse marine litter and clean up our marine environment
- Commissioned a review to establish the best way to reach a 90% collection target for beverage containers, after which the Minister will announce the necessary actions.
A tender process for the completion of a national study into how Ireland can achieve the new, higher waste collection targets for beverage containers, as outlined in the EU Single Use Plastic proposal is underway.
The study is intended to identify how this higher new waste collection target can be achieved within an Irish context. The feasibility of the implementation of a Deposit and Return Scheme as a means to achieve this, is to be considered as one option. It is imperative that the full costs and impacts of introducing a new collection system, on top of the existing, successful collection system, are understood to allow for informed evidence-based decision making.