GAA and Irish companies launch plans to reduce waste on World Environment Day

Published by Leigh McGowran on

June 6th, 2018

The GAA has banned single-use plastics such as straws, coffee cups and cutlery from Croke Park, joining companies across Ireland taking steps to reduce their plastic waste.

The stadium will start to serve tea and coffee in compostable cups this weekend as the GAA moves to remove all single-use plastics from the stadium by the end of 2018.

Vendors and bars at the stadium will also be encouraged to do the same, the GAA said yesterday as it launched its plans to coincide with World Environment Day.

The announcements also coincide with European Sustainable Development Week 2018 to stimulate activities, projects and events that promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Deliveroo policy change

Deliveroo Ireland has also announced plans to reduce the amount of plastic packaging used with its takeaway meals and will immediately reduce its plastic cutlery and straw use.

The online delivery service will now include an ‘opt-in for cutlery’ feature where customers can choose if they want cutlery with their order.

Deliveroo will also deliver 100,000 free biodegradable straws to its Irish restaurant partners and provide new non-plastic packaging options.

The company said that similar measures have been effective in the UK where 90 per cent of orders no longer includes plastic cutlery.

Adrian Cummings, CEO of the Restaurant Association of Ireland, said this move was very responsible and that the measures should have an immediate impact.

“There should be no reasons now for using environmentally destructive plastics given the development of eco-friendly and cost-effective alternatives,” he said.

Plastic Bottle Recycling Photo: Hans / Pixabay

Plastic Bottle Recycling Photo: Hans / Pixabay

Upcycling and reuse courses

The Reuse Academy has also launched free upcycling and reuses courses for community groups in the Eastern-Midlands area.

The move will also include a partnership between the Eastern Midlands Regional Waste Office and the Rediscovery Centre to promote reuse skills in areas such as furniture upcycling, fashion upcycling and bike repair.

The partnership aims to reduce the number of items going to landfill and create jobs within communities by offering advice on starting reuse social and micro enterprises.

Earlier this month, the EU approved new circular economy policies that require Member States to prioritize prevention, re-use and recycling over landfill and incineration.

Kepak Group

Kepak Group also announced on World Environment Day plans to reduce its food waste by 50 per cent across all its sites by 2030.

The meat processor plans to reduce their water and energy usage, develop healthier products and share knowledge on biodiversity with farmers.

The company recently signed a €35m five-year distribution deal with Esen Agro Group to export pork and bacon to China.

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Leigh McGowran

Leigh is a final year Journalism student at DCU with interests in the environment, radio presenting and film reviews.