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Press Statement from ASH Ireland, 28th June 2013

ASH Ireland has noted a recent report from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government published by the National Litter Pollution Monitoring System.

The survey relates to studies conducted in 2012. The report looked at the extent and severity of litter pollution in six local authority areas, including Dublin City Council and the most likely sources and causes of litter pollution. It is quite remarkable that cigarette related litter was by far the biggest constituent of national litter pollution at 52.7% of the total. Food related litter was 19.1% and packaging litter was 13.2%.

Dr Ross Morgan said today, “We are not surprised to find that tobacco litter constitutes by far the biggest proportion of our national litter, as this has been confirmed by previous surveys conducted in Ireland and elsewhere.

ASH Ireland made a case to government in 2010, proposing that a levy be placed on the Tobacco Industry as a means of recovering the cost for clearing up this litter on ‘the polluter pays principle’. The cost to the state of cleaning litter, especially in the urban environment is quite significant and we suggest that 50 cents be placed on the pack of cigarettes as a means of recouping this cost. It is vital that this cost is not passed to the consumer but borne by the highly profitable Tobacco Industry”

ASH Ireland raised this matter with Minister James Reilly shortly after his appointment and we have raised it with him again this week on the basis of this most recent report. Dr Morgan went on to say, “There is of course an additional issue in regard to tobacco litter in that it is damaging to the wider environment and poses a risk to wildlife”

Link to report:
http://www.environ.ie/en/PublicationsDocuments/FileDownLoad,33554,en.pdf

ENDS

For contact: Wally Young, Young Communications, 087-2471520
ASH Ireland: 0818 305055

Ash Ireland deeply concerned about Taoiseach’s meeting with Tobacco Industry

ASH Ireland is deeply concerned that the Taoiseach has recently met with representatives of the Tobacco Industry. Such a meeting is in conflict with the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) and serves no purpose but to show support for an industry, whose products contribute directly to the death of over 5,200 people in this country each year. The meeting was supposedly about smuggling, however this industry has the much wider agenda of maintaining sales and profits, blocking the introduction of plain packaging and the watering down of the EU Products Directive.

Dr Ross Morgan, Chairman of ASH Ireland said today, “we are very surprised that this first meeting with a Taoiseach has been facilitated. Smuggling is a criminal issue and must be treated as such – and this should be done independently of the Tobacco Industry, which will always be driving the wider agenda of sales and profits. The Government must set health as the priority and must continue to support the EU Tobacco Products Directive and the move towards the introduction of plain packaging.  The Australian Government has recently followed the health agenda and introduced plain packaging – and this is the path that others must now follow”.