Trash-talk­ing Irons backs bu­reau­crats

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

BRUS­SELS: Bri­tish ac­tor Jeremy Irons hates waste so much so that he over­came his nat­u­ral dis­like of reg­u­la­tion to team up with the EU bu­reau­crats and in­ject some movie magic into the bloc’s lat­est plans on re­cy­cling rub­bish.

The Os­car win­ner took to the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion podium on Thurs­day, along­side the EU en­vi­ron­ment com­mis­sioner, to kick off months of de­bate on plas­tic waste.

While he be­lieves in the cause of tack­ling the moun­tains of dumped plas­tic pol­lut­ing oceans and en­ter­ing the food chain, Irons thinks the com­mis­sion, the EU ex­ec­u­tive, has a few things to learn on com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

“Brus­sels is a bub­ble. Ev­ery now and then it burps and out comes a bit of leg­is­la­tion,” he said. “So how do you get the peo­ple be­hind it?”

Deft PR and the cult of celebrity, mean­while, en­sure a buzz about al­most any film.

Irons, who won the best ac­tor Os­car in 1990 for his por­trayal of mur­derer Claus von Bu­low in Re­ver­sal of For­tune, was pro­mot­ing his doc­u­men­tary Trashed, a global tour of peo­ple’s fail­ure to deal with rub­bish.

The doc­u­men­tary, made with writer-di­rec­tor Can­dida Brady, came about, Irons said, be­cause he wanted to take a break from the fic­tion that tends to dom­i­nate his act­ing ca­reer, and “make a doc­u­men­tary about some­thing im­por­tant”.

Cli­mate change is over­whelm­ing, peo­ple feel pow­er­less, he said. But rub­bish can be tack­led. San Fran­cisco, for ex­am­ple, is aim­ing to be­come a zero-waste city through me­thod­i­cal re­cy­cling.

“It’s a grow­ing prob­lem and yet it’s a prob­lem that’s cur­able,” he said.

While Irons’s film is re­leased around the world, the com­mis­sion is seek­ing views be­tween now and June on pos­si­ble mea­sures to in­crease re­cy­cling rates and re­duce waste, such as re­cy­cling tar­gets, land­fill bans and land­fill taxes.

“Man­ag­ing plas­tic waste is a ma­jor chal­lenge in terms of en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, but it’s also a huge op­por­tu­nity for re­source ef­fi­ciency,” en­vi­ron­ment com­mis­sioner Janez Po­toc­nik said. – Reuters

PIC­TURE: AP

IT’S NO ACT: Jeremy Irons ad­dresses the me­dia af­ter a meet­ing with EU com­mis­sioner for the en­vi­ron­ment Janez Po­toc­nik.

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