Why do we tolerate waste packaging?

 

Sir, – With regard to waste separation and related issues, we have a major issue with waste in general in Ireland (and globally). Why are companies allowed to produce packaging that isn’t recyclable?

We are essentially allowing businesses to decide what type of packaging can be used. This decision should not be in the hands of business rather it should be Government on behalf of the people saying “No”.

A list of banned materials should be given to companies to prevent their use and also to packaging manufacturers to stop production.

Furthermore, it is now possible to purchase packaging that is 100 per cent biodegradable which can go into the compost bin, thus reducing massively the amount of packaging being dumped and recycled.

This is the future of packaging, and it is here already, but it needs to be promoted or made mandatory by legislation. Remove the onus for disposal away from the end user, ie the consumer, and put it back onto the manufacturer.

We have long passed crisis point, our seas are awash with plastics, as are many of our rivers.

We need to have a serious national discussion about this major problem. It is a problem that we can all be a part of the solution. We have history in Ireland in this regard. We put a tax on the plastic bag, and the results were fantastic.

We need to focus again on our use of all types of packaging (particularly plastics) and find new and sustainable nature-friendly ways of producing and disposing of our packaging.

This is the future, and innovation in the packaging sector can create new jobs and new ways of thinking about our way of being in the world. – Yours, etc,

MIKE O’NEILL,

Tralee,

Co Kerry.