News & Media

Action to ban microplastics welcome following Labour Bill

11 June 2019

Statement by Sean Sherlock TD
Spokesperson on Justice, Children and Youth Affairs

Labour Spokesperson on Climate Change Seán Sherlock has welcomed the long overdue action of the Cabinet today to approve legislation to ban the use of microplastics in Ireland. This follows a commitment to do so last year and in return Labour withdrew our Prohibition of Micro-Plastics Bill 2016. Previous to that a similar Green Party Bill in the Seanad had been voted down.

Deputy Sherlock said:

"In November 2016 I introduced a Labour Party bill in the Dáil to tackle micro-plastic pollution. It followed the voting down of a similar Green Party Bill in the Seanad. Thankfully in the Dáil, FF changed their position and our bill passed on to committee stage and this ensured the Government had no other option but to act.

“After a number of expert hearings and scrutiny in advance of Committee Stage and in return from a commitment by the Government to finally act, I withdrew my bill in February this year on the understanding that Minister Murphy would introduce a comprehensive law that would also deal with any EU specific issues.

“Today the Taoiseach confirmed in the Dáil that the bill has now been approved by Cabinet. I hope the Government will act quickly now to publish the full bill and bring it through the Oireachtas as soon as possible.

“I am glad the commitment made to me has been honoured. I also want to pay tribute to the work of Senator Grace O’Sullivan of the Green Party who also sought to ban microplastics in the Seanad. It is important to note also the work done by my colleagues in our Party of European Socialists and Frans Timmermans as Commission Vice President who has led proposals to tackle plastic pollution at a European level.”