Public sector 'leading the way' in fight to reduce single-use plastics

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Reporter:

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Publicans  at Limerick's Market Quarter switch to eco-safe straws

Plastic straws will no longer be bought by the public sector.

From today, no government department or agency will buy single-use plastic cups, cutlery or straws for use within their offices

From today:

-          All government departments will develop resource efficiency action plans by the end of June this year.  These plans will help staff make savings in energy and water use as well as preventing food waste and maximising recycling.

-          The Department will work with the Office of Government Procurement to bring forward proposals on how national public procurement policy can take account more fully of environmental matters. This will ensure state contracts include the full life cycle cost of our purchases. These proposals are to be finalised by the end of March 2019.

In addition, all public bodies including state agencies and schools will not purchase single-use plastic beverage cups, cutlery and drinking straws after 31 March 2019, except where specific public health/hygiene or safety issues arise.

All public bodies are required to report to its respective Minister by end-November 2019 on the measures it is taking to minimise waste generation and maximise recycling.  

The Government is implementing these measures ahead of broader proposals relating to single-use plastic items being negotiated at EU level.  Draft EU legislation proposes new rules targeting the 10 most prevalent single-use plastic products found on Europe's beaches and seas, as well as lost and abandoned fishing gear, which together account for 70% of all marine litter. The proposal includes a ban on certain single use plastic products such as plastic straws, cutlery, cotton buds and balloon sticks.