FIE has welcomed the intervention of the Dutch authorities in impounding 6 containers of farm plastic waste from Ireland. The waste is a vector for animal disease and invasive plant material. See the Sunday Times story today.
The material is heavily contaminated to the point where British Polyethylene Industries (BPI) in Scotland have told FIE that is was necessary to impose a surcharge on Irish farm plastic because of its excessive contamination, which included not only dead animals but the motor of a Ford Anglia.
However, to date the Irish authorities have considered it ‘green list' waste and have not subject it to any export controls, in spite of representations from FIE and others. See our (unanswered) Letter to the Minister for the Environment.
Exported to Asia and China, bales of contaminated plastic are swung into rivers where - for example - a worker with a machete slashes them to allow the river water to clean them before recycling.
FIE is supporting MEP Caroline Lewis's call for an investigation
It is calling on John Gormley to address these concerns and to give the full figures about this plastic waste. One Irish yard is reported to contain 15,000 tons of soiled farm plastics and shipments are alleged to have continued by road as late as last week.FIE has also asked Laois and Cavan County Councils to investigate reports of this waste going to unlicensed locations.