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Matthews welcomes decision on recycling soft plastic

Green Party TD Steven Matthews has welcomed the Green Party overhaul of our waste management systems so that all plastic packaging waste including soft plastics can now be placed in household recycling bins.

This will be welcomed by families across the country who were disappointed and very dissatisfied when bring centres and kerbside collectors refused to take soft plastics in recent years.

Deputy Matthews said, “I had calls from all across Wicklow when the recycling bring centres stopped taking this waste material but because of Green Party Minister Ossian Smyth’s intervention and upscaling of our Circular Economy objectives, soft plastics are no longer a waste but are now a recyclable and reusable product. 

“The difficulty with soft plastics is that they are made up of many different types of polymers and identification and separation is extremely difficult. This meant that the plastics were classified as waste and were mostly exported or diverted to incineration.

“This intervention will significantly reduce Irelands export of plastic waste, it will improve our recycling targets and create further jobs in waste management and the recycling industry.

“Ultimately the objectives for all should be to reduce our waste rather than recycling. This can be difficult for families as so much of our food and shopping comes wrapped in all sorts of plastic packing and wraps. We will continue to work with the packaging industry to incentivise and support them in their move to reduce single use plastics.

“We are working hard to eliminate excess waste and this week we have also seen the first deposit return scheme introduced for returning plastic bottles and aluminium cans. A ‘Reverse vending machines’ has been installed in Lidl, Glenageary to allow customers to return bottles and cans in return for store voucher. It’s a trial location at the moment but it is anticipated that it will be rolled out across the country in a nationwide scheme.”

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