Thursday, 8 July 2021

Questions (328)

Malcolm Noonan

Question:

328. Deputy Malcolm Noonan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the supports in place for farmers growing maize and their suppliers in view of the banning of oxo-degradable plastic under the Single Use Plastics Directive from 1 July 2021 with consideration of stocks of this plastic having already been purchased; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36879/21]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

As required under the provisions in EU Council Directive 2019/904, the Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications recently signed into force national regulations prohibiting the use of single use plastics including films of the type used to cover sown maize.

I understand that the industry is developing alternative products for use in the sowing of maize that will comply with new requirements set down by this EU Directive. In parallel, in terms of support for the sector, the Department re-commenced Value for Cultivation and Use (VCU) trials for uncovered maize, in 2020 as a means to identify varieties better suited to Irish growing conditions and which do not require plastic covering. This work will build on the 2015 Uncovered Recommended List in which a high performing variety was identified and is currently available on the Irish market for growers.