A Garda raid has found a huge spread of counterfeit goods, including 15 boxes of bin bags bearing the logo of a legitimate Dublin recycling company.
A Garda swoop on a unit at the Greenogue Industrial Estate in Rathcoole in south Co Dublin uncovered the counterfeit bin bags, as well as clothing, footwear, perfume, and cosmetics.
Greyhound Recycling, which operates in Dublin, said the value of the counterfeit bin bags could be as much as €350,000.
The company suspects that the fake bags, bearing the Greyhound logo, were being sold and used by households in the capital, and particularly in the inner city where some areas are not required to have a bin and can place bags of waste on the street for collection.
No arrests have been made and gardaí said the matter is still under investigation. They also did not place a value on the total quantity of goods seized in the raid, which took place on September 15.
A spokesman for Greyhound Recycling said the company had long suspected that counterfeit bin bags bearing legitimate logos were on sale in parts of Dublin City and that the Garda seizure appeared to confirm it was an organised counterfeiting operation.
The company’s managing director, John Brosnan, said: “We have long suspected that organised criminals are involved in the sale of counterfeit bin bags. This is not just about lost revenue for Greyhound or any other bin collection company. It has contributed to a large-scale litter and environmental problem on inner city streets.
Bags also present a serious ongoing health and safety hazard for collection crews, including exposure to used syringes and broken glass.”
Pay-by-weight legislation had proposed a total ban on the use of bin bags for rubbish collection, but opposition at council level resulted in derogation for some areas.
A spokesman for Greyhound claimed only about 10% of the area in which bins are not required actually need derogation because of difficulties such as rubbish lorries navigating their way down narrow streets.
Mr Brosnan said: “We have been constantly frustrated by local political representatives steadfastly opposed to the introduction of bins on these streets. When organised crime is involved, it is time for the company, local residents, and local representatives to reassess the situation.”
A Dublin City Council spokesperson advised all residents who may continue to use a bagged waste collection service to ensure that they purchase bags only from authorised outlets or from an authorised waste collector.
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