Sinn Féin Senator Lynn Boylan has announced that she will introduce legislation to ban corporations such as Amazon from dumping brand new unused items.
Speaking to the Youth Parliament in the Seanad on the Climate and the Circular Economy, Ms Boylan said:
“This week we saw the first Amazon warehouse open in Ireland and it highlights the absolute need for legislation to ban companies from dumping brand new unused items such as laptops, TVs and drones.
“Investigations in Germany, France and Britain have all exposed the practice. In 2020, one exposé in Britain found that up to 130,000 items a week were being binned in a single Amazon Warehouse.
“Amazon is not alone in this practice; it is part of the business model of large corporations.
“For years, the fashion industry has dumped and burned thousands of tonnes of textiles and garments. Much of it unworn. This goes completely against the principles of resource efficiency in the circular economy.
“I think most people, particularly in a cost of living crisis would be horrified to think that it is perfectly legal for brand new items to go straight to landfill or incineration.
“The French Government has shown leadership on this issue by introducing a ban on the practice. It is deeply disappointing that the Irish Government didn’t take the opportunity to introduce a similar ban in the Circular Economy legislation that passed in the summer.
“That’s why I have decided to introduce my own legislation, which would carry a financial penalty for any corporations found guilty of this practice and instead make it mandatory for corporations to donate any unsold or returned items to charities and second hand shops.
“I look forward to introducing the legislation in the Seanad in the coming weeks.”