Minister Richard Bruton comes under huge pressure to back Dáil motion on plastic waste today

As the Dáil prepares to debate plastic waste this evening, 30,000 people have called on new Minister for the Environment, Richard Bruton TD to tackle the plastic waste crisis in a massive petition to be delivered to the Dáil at 1pm today. Friends of the Earth, Uplift and Voice Ireland have combined forces to back the common sense proposals in the Waste Reduction Bill, which was being blocked by recently resigned Environment Minister Denis Naughten. The bill would significantly cut the amount of plastic waste ending up in landfill, on beaches and in our oceans by introducing a national deposit and return scheme on plastic bottles, a tax on plastic take-away cups and a ban on items like plastic straws.

Diane Forsyth, a mother of four, who started the huge petition with Uplift to bring in a bottle deposit scheme, commented on this policy that already works well in other countries:

“My husband is Danish and when we went on holidays I realised they have this scheme where there’s a small charge levied on all containers, bottles, glass, plastic containers, cans.  You spend a little extra when you’re buying them, and you get your deposit back when you recycle them.
This is a great idea, it’s been working really well in Denmark for 10, 20 years or so. So I was inspired to start a petition on the Uplift website to gather signatures and support for introducing this to Ireland.”

Claudia Tormey, the Sick of Plastic campaign manager at Friends of the Earth said:

“Denis Naughten was too close to the vested interests in Repak and IBEC, and blocked the Waste Reduction Bill despite majorities in the Dáil and in the Oireachtas environment committee voting to progress the Bill.

“Richard Bruton has the chance today to demonstrate his independence from vested interests and respond positively to the huge public appetite for action on plastic waste.”

Over 1,000 people have emailed their local TDs since Sunday asking them to back this evening’s Dáil motion on tackling plastic waste and progressing the Waste Reduction Bill. Uplift and Friends of the Earth are calling on new Environment Minister Richard Bruton to ignore plastic industry lobbyists, and instead listen to the massive groundswell of support for common sense plastic policies from people across Ireland.

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