Councillor questions “cosy relationship” between Fine Gael and plastic industry

by Padraig Conlon

A local Councillor has taken aim at Fine Gael over what he calls their “cosy relationship” with the plastic industry.

Sinn Féin Councillor Mark Ward has criticised Fine Gael’s “close relationship” with Repak, an organisation set up and run by industries that produce plastic waste.

Responding to Freedom of Information requests released, Cllr Ward said; “It is clear that Repak and the plastics industry were given the silver service by Government. 

“The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment were happy to share confidential amendments with industry and push their agenda during the EU negotiations on tackling single use plastic.

“It is obvious that this cosy relationship is not just a one off, given that only last month, Repak were happy to share a platform with Fine Gael Councillor Emer Higgins at a public meeting organised by the councillor.

“The topic for discussion was recycling.”

While acknowledging the importance of recycling, Cllr Ward said reducing the amount of plastic used in the first place would be a much better way to help the environment.

“One way to do this is through deposit return schemes, unfortunately due to lobbying by Repak, the earliest Ireland will see such schemes rolled out nationally will be 2025,” Cllr Ward said.

“I’m sure Repak did not mention that while they were speaking in Clondalkin and Lucan.

“As Mayor of SDCC, I actively worked to I actively worked to reduce single use plastics.

“I initiated a policy that banned single use plastics at SDCC events such as the 10k run and Gael Force. 

“This worked very well this year. I also launched the Councils Climate action plan and the reusable coffee cup scheme in the County.”

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