Supermarkets face fines for excess plastic waste

Supermarkets face fines for excess plastic waste

Supermarkets face fines and risk being named and shamed for creating excess waste or using too much plastic under plans to be teased out in September.

Richard Bruton, the environment minister, pledged that Ireland would “take the lead” on plastics, and roll out a fines system so firms would move away from using non-recyclable materials.

At the MacGill Summer School, Mr Bruton revealed that Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions are set to fall reduce by just 1% next year, far from a previous target of 20%.

“On plastics, I will be convening a conference in September about how we deliver our ambitions. Our ambitions include halving food waste, reducing plastics, and the use of plastic packaging, eliminating non-recyclable plastics, increasing our recyclable rate for plastics by 60%. So we have a very ambitious schedule.

“We will be changing the fee structures so that companies that create waste will pay higher fees for waste that is difficult to manage, and we will be seeking more carbon pledges or plastic pledges from companies who are in the retail and manufacturing area so this is an area where we can set very strong ambitions.”

Mr Bruton’s predecessor Denis Naughten had written to supermarket CEOs and asked them to reduce their use of non-recyclable plastic packaging for fruit and vegetables. But only some stores have done this and with varying results.

Asked would a tougher stance be taken with supermarkets who opt out of such initiatives, Mr Bruton replied:

“Yes, we will take a tougher stance. Firstly by modulating the fees, so there will be a charge, so those with an excess or non-recyclables will be paying more but we will proceed if necessary by regulation.”

Mr Bruton also suggested that supermarkets may be named and shamed for failing to use less plastic. “Yes, I think that will be an element of this. 

The minister came under attack at the Glenties school from youth climate activists. Conal O’Boyle, 16, told him that climate change was bigger than Brexit or the national broadband plan.

Change had to be tackled from the “top down” and Fine Gael was not doing that, he argued.

More on this topic

Higher levies for producing non-recyclable plastics on way, Minister saysHigher levies for producing non-recyclable plastics on way, Minister says

Survey: People expect electric cars ‘to be known as cars by 2030’Survey: People expect electric cars ‘to be known as cars by 2030’

It’s appropriate to be scared about climate change pace – senior scientistIt’s appropriate to be scared about climate change pace – senior scientist

Greta Thunberg joins climate protest near White HouseGreta Thunberg joins climate protest near White House


More in this Section

Fairhill man bound to peace and fined for assaulting neighbourFairhill man bound to peace and fined for assaulting neighbour

10 charges brought against teenager after March collision that injured Cork toddler10 charges brought against teenager after March collision that injured Cork toddler

€9.4m development of new Public Services Card to be completed in January€9.4m development of new Public Services Card to be completed in January

Justice Minister calls for direct provision centre protesters to 'step back'Justice Minister calls for direct provision centre protesters to 'step back'


Lifestyle

Make-up artist Terry Barber reveals the secret to pulling off the bold lip look.This is how to make black lipstick work in real life, according to a catwalk make-up pro

Off to the Japan? After a trip to Tokyo, Ella Walker outlines the best things to eat between matches.These are the dishes to try if you’re going to Tokyo for the Rugby World Cup

It still surprises me as I am achingly private and do not enjoy being at the centre of attention.This Much I Know: Actor Aislin McGuckin

Bride Geraldine O’Donovan felt as wonderful as she looked on her big day — knowing she was supporting a cause close to her heart as she donned her wedding gown.Wedding on the Week: Supporting a cause close to their hearts

More From The Irish Examiner