We were glad to be in the Seanad and support Senator Lynn Boylan's Ban on Dumping New Products Bill 2022, which would outlaw the destruction of unsold products in Ireland.
This practice is not only inherently harmful to the environment it is against the very fundamental concepts of a circular economy, ie – design out waste. We cannot live in a society that actively designs waste into their processes for the sake of either exclusivity or to save on storage space.
The key argument against the bill is that there are similar moves afoot at the EU level that we will have to adhere to once they are implemented through the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulations. It is true that these regulations are considering a similar ban on the disposal of unsold products however already the regulations have been watered down.
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On the plus side, the regulations would consider textiles and footwear, however, at present it looks unlikely that electronics would be included in such a ban – a major contributor to the issue, and with an Amazon fulfillment center here in Ireland, it is likely a major aspect of the practice here.
The timing on the imposition of the ban would also be in some 2.5 to 3 years, meaning that it will be optimistically 2027 before we start implementing. We can and should move much faster than that!
On the other hand, a number of member states have or are considering such bans, such as France. This is why I was joined in the Seanad on screen by Alma Dufour who is a Deputy in the National Assembly of France, to discuss how legislation like this is progressing in France and its impact.
The practice of dumping perfectly functioning goods is notoriously secretive, and as such, very little data is available. The early imposition of a ban in Ireland can support these discussions through increased data and clarity on the scale of the practice.
It is estimated that 11 million t-shirts are destroyed each year in Europe, and the water, energy, biodiversity, and social impacts of their creation were all for nothing, the same can be said for the electronics and many other products subject to this practice. VOICE continues to support this bill, and the better use of resources and reduced environmental harm it encapsulates.
Chief Executive of VOICE
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