Dodder Action inspire change on waste reduction

River Dodder by William Murphy

Plastic pollution is choking our seas and riverways. Local volunteer group Dodder Action know this fact all too well.

On their river clean-up days the main litter that is collected is drinks containers. Last April, Donnybrook Scouts along with Dodder Action fished out almost 700 plastic bottles from an area between Donnybrook bridge and Clonskeagh bridge, a tally that Dublin City Council took note of.

Victoria White, Chairperson of Dodder Action says: “Our work collecting litter and our petition to introduce a deposit refund scheme for drinks containers has directly inspired the new Waste Reduction Bill that was presented in the Dáil by the Green Party.” The Bill seeks to give the consumer 10c back on their purchase of drinks bottles if they return them to the store. This 10c charge would be levied on the cost of manufacture so the consumer should not bear this cost. Eventually it will also seek to ban single use plastics and utensils such as the non-biodegradable takeaway coffee cup by 2020. There will also be a requirement to replace them with compostable alternatives.

The Bill has achieved cross party support with the Green Party and Labour co-sponsoring the Bill. Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said Fianna Fáil will support the Bill, ensuring it will pass into the second stage in the Dáil. “With a financial incentive, you get a much higher recycling rate. It’s all about being less wasteful and more careful with your use of resources,” he said.

Hopefully this Bill will help to reverse the concerning statistic of 80% of surveyed coastal sites in Ireland having some form of plastic litter, as reported by Coastwatch Ireland.

by Jessica Ellis