Croke Park has announced it is banning single-use plastics in an effort to combat pollution.
Single-use plastic items such as straws, coffee cups and cutlery will be replaced with environmentally-friendly materials.
“Under Croke Park’s commitments to international standards, the stadium sets itself annual targets in waste and energy usage reduction and in 2018 the focus is on cutting the stadium’s production of plastic waste,” said a spokesman for Croke Park’s sustainability team.
The team is determined to implement the ban “in a workable and sustainable manner for a real and lasting change in behaviours and mind-sets”.
The aim is to phase out disposable plastics in all bars and concession units by the end of 2018.
The move comes after The Premier League announced it was phasing out single-use plastics in its stadiums.
Tea and coffee will be served in compostable cups at the Leinster football semifinals this weekend, while water will be served in refillable glass bottles.
The compost produced from stadium organic waste is made available each year to members of the local community for use in local and community gardens.
The efforts to reduce plastic waste production in the stadium are part of an ongoing broader waste strategy in Croke Park to maintain “a year-on-year reduction in overall waste production as well as constant improvements in recycling figures.”
The next step for the stadium is to further reduce the plastic consumed in match-day catering options.
There is also a plan to switch to LED lighting across large areas of the stadium to improve energy efficiency.
Minister for Environment Denis Naughten praised Croke Park’s decision.
“This is great leadership being shown from the GAA on this issue and I warmly welcome it. As a society we all have a role to play in reducing our use of plastics individually and collectively,” he said.
Last week, the European Commission proposed to ban single use plastics in Europe to reduce litter and marine pollution across the continent.