Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Questions (264)

Jack Chambers

Question:

264. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the details of his engagement, including meetings held with small and medium-sized business organisations, coffee shop owners, waste companies and environmental NGOs, regarding levies proposed for disposable cups prior to the commencement of the public consultation on proposed levies announced on 6 November 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52081/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

How we use and dispose of our resources is crucial – in fact it accounts for 60% of our emissions. We must be more conscious of the impact we are having by the daily choices we make. Sustainable alternatives exist to disposable cups and the purpose is to shift behaviour towards the use of these alternatives.

A targeted consultation is underway on the proposals, with key stakeholders such as those referred to in the question, in addition to a public consultation and it is open to all interested parties to have their say.

I also held a forum on the future of Ireland’s waste on the 16th of September. At that forum, stakeholders from industry, local authorities, waste collectors, NGOs and regulators were invited to discuss how we can deliver on our ambitious targets. There were six breakout sessions on the day and one of the items discussed was a suggestion to examine levies as a policy tool to reach targets.

Furthermore, in the context of raising awareness of Directive 2019/904 on the reduction of the impact of certain products on the environment - commonly referred to as the Single Use Plastic (SUP) Directive, my Department has engaged and continues to engage with a range of stakeholders. This Directive includes an obligation on all EU Member States to introduce measures to achieve an ambitious and sustained reduction in the amount of single use plastic cups for beverages.