Green for go: We need to reduce our waste now, says Waterford TD
A Waterford TD has called on consumers to reduce waste immediately if we are to achieve out climate change targets.
Green Party TD Marc Ó Cathasaigh made the call as he welcomed the new Waste Action Plan which was announced by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Eamon Ryan TD.
The plan outlines ambitious new targets to tackle waste and move towards a circular economy – including halving our food waste by 2030, the introduction of a deposit and return scheme for plastic bottles and cans, a ban on certain single use plastics from July 2021 and a levy on disposable cups.
Other measures include applying green criteria and circular economy principles in all public procurement, a waste recovery levy to encourage recycling, and ensuring all packaging is reusable or recyclable by 2030.
“We cannot continue with business as usual when it comes to waste,” Deputy Ó Cathasaigh said.
“We have to achieve the climate targets that have been set and we all have a part to play in achieving this. Some of the more notable aspects of the plan are around Single Use Plastics and this will have a huge positive impact on the environment.
“These include a Deposit and Return Scheme for plastic bottles and aluminium cans and a ban on single use plastics, polystyrene, wet wipes, single use toiletries and food sachets. COVID has shown us that there are some single use items we need to use for health reasons but it has also shone a light on frivolous items and this plan will address that.”
“In Ireland, we dispose of six coffee cups every second (200 million per year), we waste 1 million tonnes of food annually with an average cost per household of €700 per year and in 2016, we produced 15 million tonnes of waste which works out at 3.2 tonnes for every man, woman and child in the State.
“At this rate of over-consumption, we would need 3 planet earths to meet our resource needs by 2050. This just cannot continue.”