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Government Strategy to Ban Single-Use Plastics in Ireland

Ireland’s Environment Minister has announced a ‘radical action plan’ to reduce waste and manage resources more effectively.

Speaking at a Waste Summit in Dublin earlier this month, Ireland’s Minister for Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, said he is working on a new strategy to cut down on single-use plastic pollution.

According to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, over 200kg of waste packaging is generated per person every year in Ireland, 59kg of which is plastic.

Mr Bruton said he is working on a strategy which could ban single-use items such as plastic plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks, cotton buds stick, polystyrene cups and food containers.

The new waste strategy will also:
• Introduce fees on non-recyclable plastics, such as food packaging in supermarkets.
• Halve food waste.
• End the use of non-recyclable plastic.
• Double the rate of recycled material used.
• Increase the recycling rate of plastic packaging by 60%.
• Cut dependence on landfill by 60%.

Mr Bruton said managing resources properly is central to the Climate Action Plan as 60 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions come from our use of materials.

He said the Government will be following through on an EU directive to ban single-use plastics by 2021. Although a levy on the use of such plastics is being considered as a possible stepping stone.

Minister Bruton said:

“Managing our resources properly is crucial to securing a better, more sustainable Ireland for future generations. It is central to the Climate Action Plan– 60% of greenhouse gas emissions come from our use of materials.

“All along the supply chain we can do better- 70% 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.

“We are now deciding how to chart the route ahead. I am determined to step up ambition and put in place strong policy tools to deliver on our new targets. Today is a chance to shape that roadmap. Leadership in this area is crucial if we are to secure a more sustainable, resilient Ireland for future generations.”

We are encouraging our packaging compliance members to consider making changes to packaging now to avoid the future costs of inaction. We can help by looking at your data, the packaging you use and the opportunities for reducing the impact of packaging. Get in touch to find out how our team can help you prepare for the changes ahead.

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