Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Questions (179)

Denis Naughten


179. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Finance if his Department has ceased the purchase and use of single-use plastics; the public bodies and agencies under his remit to which he has issued an instruction to cease the purchase and use of single-use plastics; when the instruction issued; the bodies which have confirmed that they no longer purchase and use single-use plastics, respectively; the bodies which have not provided such confirmation to date; when they will confirm; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29985/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

My Department had already begun eliminating single use plastics prior to the Government Decision earlier this year regarding actions by Departments and Agencies on single use plastics, prevention of waste and green public procurement. While it has not purchased any single use plastics since January 2019, my Department retains an existing inventory of non-single use, re-useable and recyclable plastic cups for use in selected areas for use by external visitors to the Department.

There are seventeen bodies under the aegis of my Department. While twelve have confirmed to me that they do not purchase or have ceased the purchase of single use plastics, a number of these bodies retain a stock of previously purchased plastic cups or cutlery and are in the process of using up such existing stock. These are the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General, the Central Bank of Ireland, the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman, Home Building Finance Ireland, the Investor Compensation Company DAC, the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, the Irish Financial Services Appeals Tribunal, the National Asset Management Agency, the National Treasury Management Agency, the Office of the Revenue Commissioners, the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland and the Tax Appeals Commission.

Office and administrative support facilities for the Credit Review Office are provided by Enterprise Ireland and as such any policies in regard to the use of single use plastic would be a matter for the Department of Business, Enterprise, and Innovation.

The Credit Union Advisory Committee convenes its meetings in my Department’s offices.

While the Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal is a body under the aegis of my Department, its meetings are held in the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) premises which is under the remit of the Department of Health, and accordingly any policies in place in the NRH are a matter for the Department of Health. 

The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council has informed me that it has no formal policies in place in relation to the purchase and use of single use plastics. However, it has indicated that it rarely purchases or uses items that would meet this criteria.

The Credit Union Restructuring Board has been wound down and legislation formally dissolving the body is currently going through the Houses of the Oireachtas.