Irish government clamping down on single use plastics as part of renewed focus on recycling
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Irish government clamping down on single use plastics as part of renewed focus on recycling

THE IRISH government is clamping down on single use plastics as part of a renewed effort to improve recycling rates in Ireland.

Plastic straws, cups, plates and cutlery are just a few of the single-use plastic items set to be banned as part of a new strategy unveiled by Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton.

Bruton met with more than 100 representatives from waste collectors, local authorities, NGOs and household representatives’ groups to discuss the Climate Action Plan on Monday, September 16.

Balloon sticks, cotton bud sticks, polystyrene cups and food containers will be banned as part of the new strategy. The government also wants to introduce fees on non-recyclable plastics like supermarket food packaging and increase the recycling rate of plastic packaging by 60%.

The government also wants to halve food waste and cut landfill dependence by 60% while ending the use of non-recyclable plastic in Ireland and doubling the rate of recycled material used.

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"Managing our resources properly is crucial to securing a better, more sustainable Ireland for future generations,” Bruton said.

"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% 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."

It’s estimated that more than 200kg of waste packaging, including 59kg of plastic, is generated per person in Ireland per year in a figure that is well about the EU average.