Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Ceisteanna (527, 528)

John Curran

Ceist:

527. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the percentage of plastic waste recycled here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47704/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Curran

Ceist:

528. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the proportion of plastic waste here that has never been recycled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47705/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 527 and 528 together.

The EPA is the competent authority for the collation of national waste statistics and reports annually on Ireland’s performance against the recycling and recovery targets set out in the EU Packaging and Waste Packaging Directive. In 2017 Ireland surpassed the material specific target of 22.5% for plastics and achieved a recycling rate of 34%.

While I do not have a percentage figure for plastic waste recycled in Ireland I understand from Repak, the national packaging compliance scheme, that in respect of their membership, approximately 15% of the plastic packaging collected in Ireland is recycled here while the remainder is exported to the UK and Europe.

We are determined to increase recycling of plastics from 34% to 55% in the coming years and, along with other EU member states, to phase out non-recyclable plastics entirely. The Government is committed to leading the way in reducing the excessive use of plastics, particularly single use plastics and to this end has:

- Obtained agreement that Government departments and bodies will no longer purchase single-use plastic cups, cutlery and straws

- Strongly supported new EU legislation on Single-use Plastic

- Commenced a clean oceans initiative to collect, reduce and reuse marine litter and clean up our marine environment (by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine)

- Commissioned a review to establish the best way to reach a 90% collection target for beverage containers, after which the Minister will announce the necessary actions

- Introduced a new law to ban microbeads (by the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government)

Further consideration of measures to tackle plastics will be undertaken in the context of developing a new national waste policy which will be published in 2020.