Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2166)

Pearse Doherty


2166. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the estimated cost of introducing a State operated plastic bottle return scheme in which bottles returned are rewarded with 1 cent and 5 cent, respectively, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31596/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

In January this year, I announced a national study which will consider how we can deliver a 90% collection target for single use beverage containers, including plastic bottles in Ireland. This review will also examine the possibility of introducing a Deposit and Return Scheme and how this might operate in an Irish context. This study is currently underway and is due for completion later in the year.

The particular details set out in the question are not yet available. However, the government is determined to reduce the excessive use of plastics. As a first step, the purchase of single use plastics has been stopped throughout the public service. We are determined to increase the recycling of plastics from 37% now to 55% in the coming years and to, in accordance with the Climate Action Plan, phase out non-recyclable plastics entirely. A Deposit and Return Scheme is one option proposed for EU member states to consider as a means to increase the collection of plastic beverage containers and achieve the new 90% target for this waste stream identified in the Single Use Plastic proposal.

The study that has been commissioned will look at the current Irish waste collection system, international best practice in this area and how Ireland can bridge the gap from the targets already being achieved to the new 90% target. Once the review has been completed and an approach agreed, I will announce the actions which need to be taken.