The Rubbish Coalition


This afternoon.

Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2

Green Party, Sinn Féin and Labour Party members combine to support the Waste Reduction Bill 2017.

The bill aims to introduce a deposit refund scheme for glass and plastic bottles and a “complete ban on single-use non-recyclable plastics, such as coffee cups and plastic cutlery”.


Top from left: Green Party Senator Grace O’Sullivan, Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan, Deputy Leader Catherine Martin, Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley, Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin and Labour colleagues Sean Sherlock TD, Senator Ged Nash and Jan O’Sullivan TD

Rare cross-party cooperation on new waste reduction Bill (Irish Times)


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26 thoughts on “The Rubbish Coalition

  1. ZeligIsJaded

    Used to bring bottles back to the shop for money as a wee nipper, 35 years ago.

    Still though…progress I suppose!

  2. Fact Checker

    A “deposit refund scheme for glass and plastic bottles” would need primary legislation and a whole new quango to oversee it. It would cost tens of millions to implement and would need hundreds of people working on it. Fully tens of thousands of retail staff would need to be trained in. Ireland is a very small market and many brands might pull out rather than introduce a whole extra bottling infrastructure just for us.

    It is not beyond the bounds of human ingenuity of course. Such a scheme exists in Germany. But the practical issues (above) are large.

    I also fail to see what problem it would solve. Most glass already gets returned to the bottle bank and most plastic bottles are recycled.

    1. edalicious

      I’m a massive eco-lefty type and I also don’t really see the deposit scheme being worth the cost of implementation. Unless there is actually massive swathes of the country that just feck it all into the black bin or, god forbid, burn it, and my perspective is skewed by living in massive eco-lefty heartland, South Dublin, where most people are generally quite good at recycling.

      1. Fact Checker

        Say the “deposit” part of your grocery shop comes to €10.

        Yet another reason to drive north where such a scheme is not in place, and prices are lower anyway.

        1. Compassion Cash

          This “drive North ” mantra, that know it all numpties like yourself, love to fart out at any given opportunity.
          99.9% of people wouldn’t bother their hole to drive up the North for a grocery shop. Get a grip young lad !

          1. Fact Checker

            The last time the CSO surveyed this in 2009 they found that 14% of households made at least one trip a year.

            Common in the border areas of course, but a full 2% made the trip from the south-west (counties Cork, Kerry and Limerick) no less!

    2. postmanpat

      It could work but the salary demands of the upper management to run such a quango will cost a small fortune before a single bottle is recycled. And by “upper management” I mean: an unqualified alcoholic wife / sister / brother / sister in law / brother in law / nephew / niece of a politician looking to pad out a CV and by “run” I mean let the naïve wide eyed jobsbridge interns take care of business so they are free to drive around in the 172 fuel guzzling company car and rake in a nice 200k salary for a couple of years before moving on to another cushy number. Then we will have a scandal around 2020 about embezzlement or getting sued by an outsourced recycle company for failing to reach targets or some other thing. That will cost more money which will be borne by the taxpayer. Court fees, solicitors etc, its a win win . The papers will have something to write about other than European terrorist attacks or homeless’ness crisis (ie: slow news days) . zzzzzzzz inducing walls of text on Broadsheet detailing the he said/she said enquiries and investigations. The white collar crime garda will be involved ,oh joy!, . everyone will be lying through their teeth with help from the Communications Clinic. Photos on the steps of court of the current and former directors of “Greenwash Quango Ireland” will be posted on the top on the online articles. I can’t wait!! I mean, it will cost millions and the plebs will pay it. No one will go to jail. But the money wont be gone, it will simply be transferred in to the bank accounts of Irelands wealthiest families and mostly moved into gold and silver and property and hidden accounts in wherever people put now money after Panama happened. The rest of this wealth will trickle down and boost the economy 0.00000000000000000000001 percent for a day or two. It will be good for the environment too.

    3. The redundant Mickey Twopints

      “A “deposit refund scheme for glass and plastic bottles” would need primary legislation and a whole new quango to oversee it.”

      I disagree.

      This objective could be achieved via the taxation system (a la the plastic bag tax). A similar point-of-sale tax on non-refundable and non-reusable bottles would result in an overnight high compliance rate. €1 for a ColaCola in a reusable glass bottle vs. €1.50 or even €2 for one in a PET bottle?

      It’s the blushirt way

  3. Maggie

    You’d swear those Labour clowns hadn’t been in power for five of the last six years, the seven of them are getting far more media attention then they deserve. As for the Greens, do they now expect us to carry coffee cups around all day on the off chance we’ll feel like popping into Starbucks and eat with our hands or carry cutlery. I spent my life not paying that much attention to government, paying my taxes without complaint, my eyes have been well and truly opened regarding the shoddy excuses for public representation we have in this country.

    1. Fact Checker

      When you look at a full life-cycle analysis, I am curious as to whether disposable coffee cups are any worse than re-usable ceramic cups. Manufacture of ceramics is clearly more resource intensive and you have to factor in the environmental cost of cleaning them.

      If anyone has some convincing research in this regard I’d be keen to see it.

      1. Toe Up

        On a similar note, I’ve wondered in the past what is more environmentally friendly, electric hand driers or paper towels in public / communal toilets.

      2. Nigel

        It’s less about manufacturing processes than about where they are ending up. Plastic pollution is causing horrific problems particularly on the oceans. There’s moves afoot to ban microbeads – Coveney was running with (or at least responding to) a Green party proposal, but I’m not sure where it’s at right now.

  4. phil

    Rehab, good friends of FG recycle bottles , there is money in glass , householders do the work for rehab, we even sort it for them for free …. Lets see what happens…

    They may argue for a new quango , but it’s not needed, the infrastructure is there already, swap out the current bottle banks for electronic banks that issue recepits which depositors can convert to money with smartphone s , bums would clean the streets for extra cash..

    Any solution by FF/FG will be private very expensive and operated by one of their mates , LAB/GREEN s solution will be public , very expensive and over staffed with huge salaries and benefits… Both solutions will be of a very poor quality…

  5. Otis Blue

    A local dairy in West Cork is selling milk in pint bottles through a number of the retail multiples. Cost is €2.40 with a 70c refund on return of the empty back to the retailer.

    Seems to work fine. No legislation required, just motivation and commitment.

  6. bisted

    …rubbish coalition indeed…one look at that collection and I’m against whatever they’re for…

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