League of shame: Waterford’s worst plastic polluters
Households across Waterford city and county generate a combined 7,450 tonnes of single-use plastic packaging waste annually, enough to fill 165 Olympic-size swimming pools.
The figure is from a survey by CUSP (Cease Using Single-Use Plastic). The company, established in 2018 to combat this problem in Ireland, has issued a list of the worst offending towns.
Waterford city is the biggest offender, unsurprisingly since it is by far the biggest urban centre in the county. It generates 3,431 tonnes of single-use plastic waste annually.
Tramore is second at 666 tonnes. The figure for Dungarvan is 513 tonnes. For Dunmore East it is 116. The lowest figure in the 12 centres surveyed is for Ardmore at 26 tonnes.
CUSP is calling on Waterford households to reduce the current monthly average of 14kgs of single-use plastic packaging by 1kg, the equivalent of 18 empty two-litre single-use plastic drinks bottles. If this reduction is repeated each month it will let Waterford meet UN sustainability targets.
CUSP has developed an app to help households measure their plastic waste reduction. Plastic drinks bottles are just one cause of the problem, says founder Simon Ruddy.
“With single-use plastic packaging ubiquitous across every category of consumer goods, participants have multiple options when planning their 1kg reduction,” he said.
“When testing the app in my own home last year we found our initial 1kg reduction by swapping-out plastic egg trays and plastic orange juice bottles.”
The CUSP app is free to download. Search ‘CUSP: Single-Use Plastic Calc’.
“Participants simply tap-in their estimated monthly number-of-units for 22 of the more common items of single-use plastic,” said Simon.
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