On Wednesday the Green Party put forward an important bill to ban the use of harmful microbeads in Ireland. After a much heated debate in the Seanad the bill was defeated. While the Government were supportive of the concept they said the bill was not compatible with EU treaties that guarantee the free movement of goods.
But it looks like the ban on microbeads may actually happen in the near future. Minster Simon Coveney said he’s committed to beginning the notification process with the European Commission ‘within days’ to introduce a ban on the beads as part of wider ranging marine protection legislation in the near future.
Within days I will write to EU Comm to inform them that Ire intends to ban the use of plastic microbeads due to damage to marine ecosystems https://t.co/fo2uCb2nDN
— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) November 24, 2016
Senator Grace O’Sullivan, from the Green Party, said “We may have lost the battle with our bill, but it was clear in my discussions with Simon Coveney that we’re winning the war on tackling plastic marine litter as the Minister confirmed he will send a notification to the European Commission and begin the process of getting rid of these wasteful and polluting products within days. I’m determined now to work with the government and any other party that will work to improve the health of our marine environment and protect the livelihoods involved.
Another win in the battle against the beads happened today when the supermarket giant Tesco pledged to remove all microbeads from there own brand cosmetic and cleaning products by the end of 2016.