Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Ceisteanna (177)

John Curran

Ceist:

177. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to introduce a national ban on plastic straws on environmental grounds. [21664/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

In January, the European Commission published the European Strategy for Plastics in the Circular Economy. The strategy focuses on plastic production and use. It sets a goal of ensuring all plastic packaging will be recyclable by 2030.

Recently, I wrote to the European Commissioner with responsibility for the environment to welcome the plastics strategy. I assured him Ireland fully embraced the ambitions of the new strategy. I asked the Commission to focus, in particular, on the most difficult non-recyclable plastics such as soft wrapping, film and single use items such as plastic straws. I am determined to make sure these products, if they come onto the market here or elsewhere in Europe, will be recyclable or compostable and that they will not go into landfill sites.

The EU Commission will be proposing EU-wide action to tackle such items this month.  I believe that working proactively with our European colleagues will achieve a greater environmental benefit.  If the actions proposed at EU level require national legislation, I will act thereon as soon as possible.