Published on Friday4thJanuary2019
Minister Bruton Announces Government will Lead the Way in Reducing Single Use Plastics
The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Minister Richard Bruton today (Friday the 4th of January) announced that government departments, public bodies, and schools will lead the way in the response to cutting down on single use plastics, with a number of measures, including no longer purchasing single-use plastic cups, cutlery and straws for use within their offices.
Speaking at the Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun, Minister Bruton said,
Today the government has approved a plan, to stop purchasing single use plastic, to cut waste in food and paper, to improve efficiency in the use of energy and water and to reshape procurement to choose sustainable options. Every year the public service spends €12 billion in procuring goods, services and works. By adopting green procurement, not only will government lead by example, but also help create a new market for sustainable goods and services.
- No government department will purchase single-use plastic cups, cutlery and straws for use within their offices
- 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.