Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Ceisteanna (193)

Michael McGrath


193. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to support various community initiatives around the country to roll out reverse vending machines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46716/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Government is determined to reduce the excessive use of plastics. As a first step, the purchase of single use plastics has been banned throughout the public service. We are determined to increase recycling of plastics from 37% now to 55% in the coming years and, along with other EU member states, to phase out non-recyclable plastics entirely. A Deposit and Return Scheme is one option proposed for EU member states to consider as a means of increasing the collection of plastic beverage containers and achieve the new 90% target for this waste stream identified in the Single Use Plastic Directive.

A number of grass roots community initiatives are emerging across the country which support responsible waste management, which I welcome. However, the introduction of a new national initiative such as a Deposit and Return Scheme needs to be fully understood and the costs and impacts identified to make evidence-based decision making. 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 study will also examine the possibility of introducing a Deposit and Return Scheme and how this might operate in an Irish context. This study will be completed in the coming weeks.