Litter And Recycling


Sir, - Visiting my local shopping centre recently, I almost collided with an employee coming out of a fast-food outlet with a garbage sack nearly as big as herself. I watched as she unceremoniously dumped it around the corner, on top of half-a-dozen similar bags, all awaiting collection and no doubt transportation to a landfill site.

It was not difficult to surmise the cause of this garbage mound. A cursory glance through the window at the customers seated at tables revealed the astonishing display of disposable containers that even a lone eater accumulates - boxes, beverage cups, french-fry packets and so on.

Given the parlous state of many of our landfill sites and the Sisyphean task of local authorities to try and keep up with the ever-growing rubbish mountains, I put forward the following idea in the confidence that it is practical and implementable and in the hope it can be handled under existing legislation by Ministerial order.

Quite simply it is to compel all food outlets/eateries to use recyclable food containers, good old-fashioned ceramic cups and plates, metal cutlery that can be easily washed and sanitised in the high-speed dishwashers now widely used.

The reduction in volume could be considerable. This could, of course, apply to food and beverages for consumption on the premises. However when implemented successfully, maybe we can then come up with some ideas dealing with takeaway food.

I am copying this letter to Mr Dempsey, Minister for the Environment and Local Government and hope action can be taken in recognition of my small contribution towards easing the chronic problem of garbage disposal. - Yours, etc.,

Brian Keane, Blackrock, Co Dublin.