In a dramatic demonstration of just how insidious PFAS chemicals are, Mindy O'Brien informed the Joint Committee on the Environment and Climate Action on Thursday that the 'Be Pulp' moulded plant fiber bowls, used in the Dáil canteen, not only tested positive for PFAS chemicals, but tested for shockingly high levels of PFAS chemicals

As the Joint committee engages in pre-legislative scrutiny of the heads of the Circular Economy Bill, Mindy was invited to give the impressions VOICE has on these heads and where we think improvements could and should be made.
In short; we want more ambition.
We cannot rely on Industry to do the right thing; with all that we know about the links between climate change and plastics we are still seeing our packaging waste increase not decrease.

Mindy told the committee how this bill has the opportunity to provide the direction we need to change how we consume:

·       We need investment in service models
·       Catering must do its part; this mandate should bein the bill.
·       Reusable containers, standardised containers, reverse logistics, industrial washing facilities can be developed throughout the country. All services must apply. This will provide jobs and reduce the amount of packaging waste we are importing from abroad.
·       Mandatory for minister to set reuse and refill targets and impose levies and fines, instead of ‘may’.
·       Impose a tax on virgin plastic, like they do in Italy, the UK and Spain
·       We call for a 0 Zero rate VAT on reused items as the VAT has already been paid when they were first purchased.
·       Truth in labelling; the statute must declare that items that claim to be biodegradable, compostable use one label ‘compostableEN13432 standard’
·       Ban the use of PFAS – forever chemicals
·       Shops and Supermarkets over 400sqm devote 20% of their shopping areas towards primary refill and reuse packaging
·       Demand that in-house consumption of food and drink as well as large closed loop events provide reusable cups, cutlery and Delph. Require takeaways and food delivery services offer reuse solutions, and where it is not offered the consumer can bring their own container or purchase a disposable one.
·       Provide liability relief for reuse and repair items to encourage the repair economy
·       Call on Government to ban the purchase and use of use of single use cutlery, cups plates etc. The government must lead by example. The Dáil uses so many single use items in house. We call on the Dáil to lead by example.