Proposed changes to the plastic bag levy represent another step in reducing our plastic waste output and should be implemented, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, a TD for Offaly and a member of the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, was speaking in response to reports that the Cabinet is to discuss a proposal to increase the plastic bag levy by 3c and to change the types of bags subject to it.
She said, “The plastic bag levy has been one of the most successful initiatives for reducing our plastic waste here in Ireland, but we are at a juncture now where everyone accepts we must accelerate our actions to achieve our ambitious climate targets.
“Changing the plastic bag levy to ensure that only genuine ‘bags for life’ would still be exempt from the levy.
“I would urge my colleagues who sit at Cabinet to move forward with this initiative and for the public to have their say on these proposed changes.
“This Government has taken a number of steps to reduce plastic waste including introducing legislation to ban microbeads and significantly expanded marine clean-up programmes.
“New EU legislation will also ban single use plastics including straws, coffee stirrers and plastic cutlery. Already Government departments will no longer purchase single use plastic items following a policy change.
“Under the Climate Action Plan all plastic packaging will be 100% recyclable, as well as extending producer responsibility.
“We need to cut down dramatically on our use of single use plastics and the amount of plastic waste we are generating – this is a positive change that we should all embrace,” Deputy Corcoran Kennedy concluded.