herald

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Stores could be 'named and shamed' in plastic war

Richard Bruton. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / INM
Richard Bruton. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / INM

Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton is to look at a "name and shame" system for supermarkets that fail to reduce the amount of plastic packaging on food products.

The Government's climate action plan includes halving the overall amount of food wasted in Ireland, reducing the use of plastics and plastic packaging and increasing the overall recyclable rate by 60pc.

Mr Bruton, who plans to hold a conference on the plastics issue in September, said he would take a tougher stance with supermarkets.

This would be done with regulations if necessary and involve extracting pledges from companies to reduce their carbon footprint.

There will also be higher waste management fees on those companies that create more non-recyclable rubbish.

Speaking to reporters at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Co Donegal, Mr Bruton also signalled "naming and shaming" supermarkets that do not reduce their use of plastic packaging sufficiently.

Ambitious

"We have a very ambitious schedule," the minister said.

"We will be changing the fee structures so that companies that create waste will pay higher fees for waste that is difficult to manage.

"We will be seeking more carbon pledges or plastic pledges from companies who are in the retail and manufacturing area," he added.

"We will take a tougher stance."

Asked about a system of "naming and shaming" supermarkets, Mr Bruton said: "Yes, I think that will be an element of this.

"It will be about getting people to sign up to pledges for change."

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