Tuesday 17 September 2019

Minister vows to 'name and shame' supermarkets that fail to cut down on plastic packaging on food

Warning: Richard Bruton. Picture: Damien Eagers
Warning: Richard Bruton. Picture: Damien Eagers
Hugh O'Connell

Hugh O'Connell

Climate Change 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.

The Government's Climate Action Plan plans to halve the overall amount of food wasted, reduce the use of plastic packaging and increase the overall recyclable rate by 60pc.

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

This will be done through regulation if necessary and involve extracting pledges from companies to reduce their carbon footprint.

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

Speaking to reporters at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Co Donegal, Mr Bruton also signalled the introduction of a system of "name and shame" for supermarkets that don't reduce their use of plastic packaging sufficiently.

"We will be changing the fee structures so that companies that create waste will pay higher fees for waste that is difficult to manage and we will be seeking for more carbon pledges or plastic pledges from companies who are in the retail and manufacturing area," he said.

"We will take a tougher stance. Firstly by modulating the fees, so there will be a charge, so those with an excess of non-recyclables will be paying more but we will proceed if necessary by regulation."

Asked would he "name and shame" 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, it will be charging those but it will also be empowering consumers because I think it is consumers that are really driving this agenda."

Irish Independent

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