Tuesday, 21 May 1996
Dáil Éireann Debate
159. Mr. Dempsey asked the Minister for the Environment the numbers of plastic bags, PET bottles and tin cans sold or distributed in Ireland for each of the years from 1992 to 1995 and to date in 1996; the extent and type of statistical information gathered in relation to these types and other forms of waste; the way in which this information is made available; the basis for making this information available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10147/96]
Minister for the Environment (Mr. Howlin): I refer to the reply to Question No. 114 of 8 May 1996 which indicated  that the Environmental Protection Agency has commissioned a comprehensive project on waste statistics and on the creation of a national database on waste. This will facilitate the updating and expansion of information on Irish wastes. I understand that the project is at an advanced stage and that the agency expect to be in a position to publish a report in the near future.
The most recent waste statistics available to my Department are contained in the strategy document Recycling for Ireland and indicate that 114,811 tonnes of plastic packaging waste and 31,286 tonnes of ferrous metal packaging waste arose in 1993. The Environmental protection Agency report State of the Environment in Ireland (April 1996) estimates that approximately 500 million plastic bags per annum are used in Ireland.
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