Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Ceisteanna (858)

Denis Naughten


858. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government 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. [29988/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

In 2018, my Department ceased the purchase of single-use plastic beverage cups, cutlery and drinking straws. This practice ceased well in advance of the requirement of the Government decision to do so after 1 January 2019.

This exclusion of single use plastic is in line with Irish Government policy & EU Directives and has also been included in a Request for Tender document that issued recently for a new catering contract in my Department's headquarters in the Custom House. This includes a requirement for the provision of effective solutions to encourage customers to minimise waste, for example to use reusable takeaway cups, environmentally acceptable hot food take away packaging etc. My Department is also purchasing reusable cups for staff, and a food waste policy will be discussed with the successful tenderer.

The timescale for public bodies to address the requirements in the Government decision is on a slightly deferred basis, with reports due to Ministers by end November 2019. My Department has contacted the bodies under the aegis of my Department, listed in the table below, in that regard. In addition, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has notified the local authority sector through the Regional Waste Management Offices and has been in communication with the Local Government Management Agency about the decision and related matters with a view to working with the local government sector on the initiative.

The Environmental Management System at the Custom House, my Department's headquarters, is accredited to ISO 14001 standard. This is a systematic framework to manage the immediate and long-term environmental impacts of an organisation’s products, services and processes. By completing ISO 14001 certification an organisation can assure stakeholders that its environmental management system meets international industry specific environmental standards. My Department has achieved this ISO 14001 accreditation every year since 2002, and this month achieved accreditation to the upgraded standard from 2018 to 2021, the only Government Department to have achieved this accreditation.

Arrangements have been put in place by each Agency to facilitate the provision of information directly to members of the Oireachtas. The contact email address for each agency is set out in the following table.


Email address

An Bord Pleanála


Ervia, Gas Networks Ireland


Housing Sustainable Communities Agency


Housing Finance Agency


Irish Water


Local Government Management Agency


Ordnance Survey Ireland


Property Registration Authority


Pyrite Resolution Board


Residential Tenancies Board


Valuation Office


Land Development Agency


Office of the Planning Regulator