Ireland will ditch single-use plastics to tackle its heavy pollution problem

Plastic plates and food containers could become a thing of the past for Irish people, as the country’s government announced recently that it plans to ban single-use plastics in an effort to reduce the amount of waste in its landfills.  

The nation’s Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment said the government is currently working on mapping out a plan to ban single-use plastic cutlery, straws, balloon sticks, polystyrene cups, and food containers, although a fee on the use of such disposables is being discussed as a first step.

There is particular urgency for Ireland to solve its waste problem, since it is an outlier among other European states, generating more than 400 pounds of waste packaging a year, of which 130 pounds is plastic.

The government’s strategy to tackle the waste menace goes beyond ending single-use plastic and levies on the packaging. The new policies are part of a broader campaign aiming to eliminate unnecessary packaging, reduce food waste by 50 percent, improve plastic recycling by 60 percent, and cut landfill disposal by 60 percent.

What’s great about such initiatives is that they’re most likely to instigate a shift in industrial practices and consumer behavior, eventually leading to a cleaner and greener environment.

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