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Tell the Government to stop delaying the Waste Reduction Bill

Ask your Fine Gael TD to let the Dail proceed with its work on the Bill by getting cabinet to issue the money message to allow it to proceed toe be debated and amended in the Dail

A few weeks ago, we asked you to chip in to send a Keep Cup to your TD and urge them to push to Minister Naughten not to block the Waste Reduction Bill moving to third stage. We were overwhelmed with your response. Thanks to over 200 of our supporters, we raised enough money to send all 158 TDs a Keep Cup on your behalf.

This week over 400 of you emailed your TDs to invite them to Buswells Hotel across from the Dail, on Wednesday, to collect their Keep Cups along with a card with the names of all their constituents who sponsored the cup. We would have been thrilled if even a quarter of your TDs had showed up, so we were utterly flabbergasted when HALF THE DAIL cued up for Keep Cups and photo opportunities. Thanks to you, Ireland’s TDs went gaga for Keep Cups!

Click here to find out if your TD collected their Keep Cup.

But there was a serious message behind the event…

Minister Naughten is using a technicality to stop the Waste Reduction Bill from being debated and amended in the Dáil because he doesn’t agree with the idea of a national Deposit-and-Return scheme on plastic bottles.

We’ve asked the Minister to sit down with us and look at VOICE’s analysis of how to fund this scheme without putting the cost on householders, but there’s been no response so far. In fact, Naughten seems so threatened by our work on this issue that he even wrote to all TDs and Senator’s the morning of our Keep Cup event to dissuade them from engaging with us. Fortunately, they weren’t the least bit put off by him!

It’s clear the fight to tackle plastic pollution isn’t over…

We need Naughten to stop blocking democracy and allow the Dáil to get on with its work on the Waste Bill.

Here’s how you can help:

-Keep the pressure on by asking your Fine Gael TDs to make a representation to raise this issue in their upcoming parliamentary party meeting on your behalf to hurry up with the “order” allowing the Bill to proceed and insist on a response from them.

-Chip in to fund the work to progress this Bill. Friends of the Earth operates on a shoe-string and it takes significant time and money to keep pushing our politicians not to let the Waste Reduction Bill die. Any little bit you can chip in will go straight to our Sick of Plastic campaign to help transform the Irish landscape to a beautiful plastic-free emerald isle.

Donate now

Thanks so much for all your support on this successful event. Together, there’s no stopping us!

 

I want TDs to vote for action on plastic bottles

The Dáil is currently considering a draft law which includes a national deposit and return scheme and measures to take single-use plastics. Sign the petition to show your support

We are all sick of plastic. 

Everyday in Ireland we use more than 500,000 plastic-lined coffee cups that can't be recycled, more than 2 million plastic bottles that don't get recycled, and supermarkets foist more and more packaging on us. Meanwhile, micro-plastics are making the fish we eat sick, and if we keep going the way we are, plastic waste will outweigh fish in the oceans by 2050.

But there are solutions.

What politicians can do

A Dáil Committee is debating the Waste Reduction Bill today, Tuesday 22nd May. 

The Bill (draft law) would introduce a 10c deposit on plastic bottles, which would be refunded when you bring the bottle back for recycling. In countries where they have a scheme like this recycling rates are as high as 98%. We had a deposit and refund scheme for glass bottles in the past. It's time to do it for plastic.

Denis Naughten is asking TDs to drop this plan!

We know producers and retailers are lobbying hard *against* a deposit and return scheme because they say it would be inconvenient or too expensive. Independent research shows the scheme would cost about 1c per bottle. We need to show that people really want to see action on plastic and don't want supermarkets and big business dragging their heels.

The Bill would also ban or introduce a levy on single-use plastic items like plastic-lined take-away cups. A 15c "latte levy" as it has been described would encourage more and more people to bring their own cup to the coffee shop, like the Friends of the Earth KeepCup. Many coffee shops have joined the Conscious Cup Campaign and offer customers a discount, double loyalty points, or like coffeeangel do, make a donation to Friends of the Earth every time someone brings a reusable cup.

The Government has promised a separate ban on micro-plastics before the end of the 2018 but they have been slow to bring forward legislation to progress the opposition Bill that is waiting for a Dáil Committee to make time to consider it.

What Irish supermarkets can do

We've written to the ceos of big supermarket chains asking them to take these Six Steps:

  1. Offer more items without packaging, such as fruit and vegetables (without plastic trays, wrapping and nets).
  2. Make their own-brand packaging easily compostable or recyclable, and use less plastic.
  3. Demand, through their purchasing power, that other brands they carry have easily compostable or recyclable packaging, and use less plastic.
  4. Blaze a trail in Ireland by implementing a plastic free aisle, as has been done in the Netherlands.
  5. Provide items in bulk, where possible, to reduce packaging.
  6. Allow shoppers use their own containers to buy dried goods, buying only what they need.

Leo, let there be light!

Please sign this petition to urge the Government not to exclude small-scale rooftop solar from new plans to support renewable electricity. Leo Varadkar signed this petition at Electric Picnic last year. But Minister Naughten's new draft plan for renewable electricity doesn't include support for small-scale rooftop solar - it's all about big business.

Please sign this petition to urge the Government not to exclude small-scale rooftop solar from new plans to support renewable electricity.

As solar panel tecnolology improves and costs fall we want to see Ireland unlock its solar power potential.

As a first step we’re demanding the Government guarantee a fair payment for solar electricity, so people get paid for the excess energy they generate with panels on the roofs of their homes, farm buildings, schools, clubs and community halls. 

Leo Varadkar signed this petition at Electric Picnic last year. But Minister Naughten's new draft plan for renewable electricity doesn't include support for small-scale rooftop solar - it's all about big business.

We will submit this petition - calling for fair treatment for small-scale solar -  to the public consultation on Minster Naughten's plans.

No to Shannon LNG

We oppose the building of terminals to import fracked gas, lock us into fossil fuel dependence, and blow our chances of containing climate change.

In 2008 a company called Shannon LNG was granted planning permission to build a terminal on the Shannon estuary in northern Kerry, to import liquefied natural gas (LNG). The terminal hasn't been built, but now the company is looking to get an extension of the planning permission. An Bord Pleanála are considering whether this constitutes a material change to the original permission.

So much has changed since 2008:

  • In 2012, the International Energy Agency concluded "No more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed prior to 2050 if the world is to achieve the 2°C goal" for limiting climate change.
  • In 2013 the IPCC published their latest assessment of climate science and estimated that we had used over half the "global carbon budget" if we want to avoid 2°C of global warming, and the entire budget will be exhausted in less than 30 years (5 years ago) if we continue to burn fossil fuels at current rates.
  • In 2015 the Oireachtas passed the Climate Action law to underpin Government policy of reducing Irish carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050. Moreover, the Energy White Paper adopted by Government shortly afterwards set a target for the energy sector of cutting emissions by 80-95% by 2050.
  • Also in 2015, 196 countries agreed the Paris Climate Accord with the aim of "Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels". 
  • In 2017, the Tyndall Centre in Manchester University and Teeside University published a study which found "Current levels of emissions will use up the EU’s 2°C carbon budget in under nine years", "Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) transport increases the climate change impact of natural gas supply chains" and crucially "within two decades fossil fuel use, including gas, must have all but ceased, with complete decarbonisation following soon after."
  • And in 2017, Ireland banned hydraulic fracturing - fracking - for the exploration and extraction of oil and gas onshore in Ireland.

Building LNG terminals that last 30 years makes no economic or environmental sense for Ireland, when we have to leave 2/3 of known fossil fuels in the ground and stop burning gas altogether within two decades. There is a high risk the terminals would become stranded assets, white elephants, monuments to the folly of the late fossil age.

Building LNG terminals to import fracked gas makes no moral sense when we banned fracking - just last year - because the public and our parliament decided the potentially devastating impacts on communities' water, health and tourism and farming were two high a price to pay. Surely we don't now want to import fracked gas from communities from the US and elsewhere struggling to cope with those same impacts.

We urge An Bord Pleanála to refuse an extension to the planning permission as importing LNG is clearly no longer a sustainable option for Ireland.

We urge the Government to reverse it's short-sighted support for building LNG terminals and locking us into fossil fuel dependence, just when opportunities to invest in saving energy and ramping up community-centred renewables are opening up.

*If you sign this petition we will include your name on a list endorsing this explanatory text as a submission to An Bord Pleanala. 

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