– Fianna Fáil will be bringing forward legislation on the prohibition of micro plastics –

Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath Declan Breathnach has expressed concern about reports that our drinking water is widely contaminated with plastic.

“I spoke earlier this year in the Dáil on the Prohibition of Micro-Plastics Bill 2016. While Fianna Fáil wholeheartedly supported the principle of the bill, we felt it was too narrow and would fail to adequately protect our environment. Instead, we will shortly bring forward our own legislation, which adopts a more comprehensive and thorough approach to address plastic pollution” said Breathnach.

“Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic found by the hundreds of thousands in shower gels, face-scrubs and toothpastes, and also in household cleaning products and from lots of other sources. Once a must have ingredient in the pursuit of flawless skin and cleaner surfaces, now they have become a scourge on the environment and hated by all who care for our planet.”

“Plastic ingredients that are poured down the drain after use, cannot be collected for recycling. They do not decompose in wastewater treatment systems. The ingredients are emitted via raw sewage, treated effluents or with sewage sludge applied as fertilizer (biosolids) on agricultural land, landfilled or dumped at sea.”

This plastic pollution is having a detrimental effect on marine life with fish ingesting them having poisonous effects. This impacts on breeding and growth patterns and we may be consuming fish containing plastic microbeads thereby having a negative effect on our own health and wellbeing. The recent reports that people are routinely ingesting plastic through drinking water from their kitchen taps both in Ireland and abroad is extremely worrying. The effects on the human body are unknown so we must do our utmost to eliminate the risk”, concluded Breathnach.

Johanna Walsh, Office of Declan Breathnach T.D., Leinster House, Dublin 2

(T) 01 6183549 (Email) declan.breathnach@oireachtas.ie (087 2697638 – Declan)