Seán Sherlock TD
04 May 2017

Labour Spokesperson for Climate Action Sean Sherlock has welcomed the passage of his Prohibition of Microplastics Bill at second stage in the Dáil today. The Bill now moves onto committee stage following the abstention of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, who together had blocked a previous bill in the Seanad.

Deputy Sherlock said:

“This is an issue that demands non-partisan action and I welcome that the Dáil has now spoken on the issue.

“This will create further momentum towards a much needed ban on polluting micro beads and plastics that are causing havoc in our rivers and oceans.

“I am conscious that we had an opportunity here to collaborate on what is a non-partisan issue, but of grave concern to our envrionment, ecology, marine life and public health.

“Credit must go to Senator Grace O’Sullivan and the Green Party for beginning the legislative process on this in the Seanad in November.

“By working together on such an important issue we have secured another step on the road to banning this microplastics.

Deputy Sherlock stressed that this was an issue that Ireland can take unilateral action on.

“The European Union is not minded at this point to proceed with a ban. Ireland cannot and should not wait.

“It is timely that we would legislate for this very important public health and environmental issue.

“I believe Ireland should take leadership on this issue. I think it is something that affects us all.

“We want to see clean oceans and clean seas and, as an island nation, we need to take a global leadership position on this just as we did on the smoking ban. If the Government brings forward comprehensive legislation on this, I will be happy to withdraw this bill in favour of such legislation.”

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