The Republic of Ireland’s Minister for Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton announces plans to cut landfill disposal by 60% and food waste by 50%
Ireland set to Reduce Waste by Cutting out All Single-Use Plastic
Ireland is set to say goodbye to plastic cutlery, plastic balloon sticks and grocery items wrapped in plastic once and for all as a way to drastically reduce the amount of waste in Irish landfills, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton announced at a Waste Summit in Dublin on Monday. — as reported by our partner EcoWatch
Huge clampdown on packaging and single-use plastics as summit thrashes out how plan will take shape
Plastic straws, plates, cups, cutlery and other single-use items are to be banned in a crackdown on wasteful and polluting plastics.
Levies will also be charged for using non-recyclable plastic packaging on food and other goods, with a possible ban to follow on these too if charging does not deter their use.
The moves will form part of a new waste strategy aimed at radically reducing the amount of day-to-day plastic used and greatly improving recycling rates.
Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton summoned more than 100 representatives of the waste and packaging industry, consumer and environmental groups and local authorities to a meeting on Monday to thrash out the practicalities of the plan.
Businesses have seen this coming as EU legislation is pushing member states to eliminate non-recyclable plastics, and the objectives form part of the Government’s Climate Action Plan.
However, achieving targets here will be a significant task as every person in Ireland generates on average more than 200kg/441lbs of packaging waste per year, 59kg/130lbs of which is plastic. That’s the highest in the EU and almost twice the European average.
The government strategy goes beyond ending single-use plastic and levies on packaging.
The Irish government hopes to hit a number of benchmarks, including reducing food waste by half, increasing plastic recycling by 60%, doubling the amount of recycled material that is used, and cutting dependence on landfills by 60%, as The Journal in Ireland reported.
The ambitious new policies will have far-reaching implications for retailers, especially supermarkets; fast food restaurants, manufacturers, the packaging sector and consumers, The Irish Times reported.
"Managing our resources properly is crucial to securing a better, more sustainable Ireland for future generations," said Bruton. "It is central to the Climate Action Plan – 60 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions come from our use of materials.
"All along the supply chain we can do better – 70 percent of food waste is avoidable, half of the material we use is not being segregated properly, two-thirds of plastic used is not on the recycling list and labels are confusing," Mr. Bruton said.
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