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Sick of Plastic Campaigners dump littered plastic bottles at Minister for Environment’s front door to demand Deposit Return Scheme

4 Nov 2019

Sick of Plastic Campaign
4th November 2019

Sick of Plastic Campaigners dump littered plastic bottles at Minister for Environment’s front door to demand Deposit Return Scheme

A ‘Plastic Bottle Rally’ will take place at the doorstep of Minister for the Environment’s office next Wednesday at 1pm to demand action on plastic waste.

It’s almost two years since campaigners [1] ‘Ditched their Plastic at the Dáil' demanding that government introduce a deposit return scheme (DRS) in Ireland for the recycling collection of plastic bottles and aluminium cans.

Ten months following that protest Minister for the Environment, Richard Bruton, announced he would commission a study [2] to see how a DRS could operate in Ireland.

Claudia Tormey, from Sick of Plastic comments:

“Currently, there is no recycling infrastructure for on-the-go waste in Ireland. Every plastic bottle and aluminium can that goes into a public street bin is going to landfill or incineration. Perfectly good recyclable materials are going to waste!

“Recyclable plastic is a valuable material, used plastic bottles should be salvaged and turned into new products. But to do that, we need better infrastructure to collect and recycle waste.”

Campaigners are fed up with the Government’s snail-pace action and want government to publish this study, and get on with introducing a DRS to Ireland.

Combined petitions from campaign groups Friends of the Earth and Uplift have almost 40,000 signatures demanding government to introduce a DRS.

Claudia Tormey, from Sick of Plastic comments:

“It seems Ministers only really take action when we show up outside their doorstep and demand it. So that's what we're going to do!

“We’re inviting anyone who’s fed up picking up plastic rubbish and witnessing the destruction plastic is doing to our world to dump littered plastic bottles at Minister Bruton’s office next Wednesday lunchtime. We’re fed up waiting for action.

“Somehow, Minister Bruton can't see the plastic bottles currently littering our streets, beaches and natural habitats, so we're going to help him see - by delivering them to his office.”

DRS is a tried and tested method of collecting plastic bottles in public places, in states across America and countries across Europe people can return their used drinks containers in exchange for money at reverse vending machines. Just like we returned glass for coins in Ireland in the past we can do this for plastic and aluminium today, but only if government lead the way.

Oisin Coghlan from Friends of the Earth comments:

“While Richard Bruton has been taking his time, communities have taken it into their own hands - Monaghan Tidy Town's are Ireland's first community to introduce a DRS! There's no reason why government can’t roll out reverse vending machines to collect drinks containers nationwide.”

NOTES

[1] https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/campaigners-ditch-their-plastic-at-the-d%C3%A1il-1.3359099

[2] https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/best-way-to-deliver-plastic-collection-target-to-be-evaluated-in-major-review-1.3772682

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