Actor Jeremy Irons talks trash with EU bureaucrats

British actor Jeremy Irons gestures as he addresses the media after a meeting with EU Commissioner for the environment Janez Potocnik, not seen, at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Thursday March 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

BRUSSELS: British actor Jeremy Irons hates waste with a passion - 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-winning Irons took to the 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 our 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 told Reuters. "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' film is released around the world, the European 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.





Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (

comments powered by Disqus



Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here