In 2019 waste is everywhere
Recycling and waste reduction have been in the news a lot this January, and so has VOICE
2018 was a busy year for VOICE campaigning on the Waste Reduction Bill at home and in Europe on the Single Use Plastics legislation, running the Recycling Ambassador and Zero Waste Cashel Programmes, our continued involvement with Conscious Cup Campaign and grass roots events such as Plastic free July, and the Sick of Plastic campaign
2019 is already showing the fruits of some of that labour. Throughout January the issues of waste and plastics have been very much to the fore in the public discourse. VOICE is heartened to see the implementation of the single use plastic ban in government buildings, coming into effect by the end of March of this year. Ireland's targets of 55% plastic recycling are clearly weighing on the mind of the Government as Minister Bruton also announced this month a review group to examine single use plastic bottles in Ireland. Among the issues being examined include a deposit return scheme (DRS) for water bottles. This is a welcomed action which has been championed by VOICE for years, and is specifically mentioned in the Waste Reduction Bill. However, the government has a history of skeptisism towards such schemes. The government must also support initiatives that promote the reduction of waste generation as well.
Internationally retailers Tesco and Carrefour have announced their involvement with a packaging free shopping trial. The trial would test a refillable container system called LOOP in some of their Paris stores this Spring. What this shows is the effectiveness of both on the ground actions by citizens and the importance of lobbying our politicians on issues. Here at home there are an increasing number of local packaging free stores and services across the country who have been setting an example on this, and showing consumers and retailers how it’s done.
As waste has been in the news so has VOICE. An episode of EcoEye addressing waste in Ireland featured an Interview with Mindy O’Brien earlier this month, and she could also be heard talking on Newstalks Between the lines with fellow panelists Senator Grace O’Sullivan and Oisin Coughlan of Friends of the Earth. While over on Virgin media three Recycling Ambassador Triona Reid () was discussing recycling with Elaine and Clodagh kelly was discussing fast fashion.
Looking forward,VOICE is gearing up to a new year of projects and actions. Along with our ongoing campaigning and community work, we will shortly be unveiling our plastic in the home project which has recently been awarded EPA funding. We will be rolling out the Conscious Communities project, seeking to help communities reduce their impacts and we continue to work with businesses to help increase their sustainability.