A local bottle recycling scheme needs to be developed to deal with a growing amount of plastic waste in the county, Seamus Ryan has claimed.
Ryan who is a Labour candidate in the Ennis Municipal District maintained the levels of plastic waste that being produced in communities are too high. “We are seeing an ever increasing amount of plastic in our lives and no clear plan for reducing it. If we can encourage recycling through incentivising the return of plastic instead of just passively binning it then we can make a local difference. I would like to see Clare County Council work with local business people to develop a community credit system to be used in local shops and business or transport around the county to encourage people to protect their local environment.”
He felt innovative ways are the best option going forward. “All over the world we are seeing the effect that systems like this can have. In New South Wales they saw a 30% reduction in plastic waste, Istanbul is giving people credit on their public transport, and with the potential for a local Ennis bus service in the near future this could be integrated into the scheme and large retailers in the UK are trialling in-store plastic recycling machines that pay for the material returned,” he said in a statement to The Clare Echo.
A librarian in Ennis, Seamus was critical of Fine Gael for failing to back a proposed bill from the Green Party that would have seen the introduction of a national scheme for deposit and return on drinks containers. “If Fine Gael is going to stand in the way of making improvements nationally then it’s up to people locally to make the changes we can to reduce the environmental effects of garbage when we can. Here in Ennis we have a marvellous town that consistently scores highly in Tidy Towns competitions and in 2017 came first in the Irish Business Against Litter survey but slipped to number 22 in the 2018 survey. If we can do something like what I have proposed in our community then we should and the Council should be there to help us do it.”