Time to rid Ireland of plastic pollution

 

Sir, – I am writing to you to address what is, in my opinion, one of the biggest failures of the Government so far since its establishment – the failure to act, promptly and effectively, on the rising issue that is plastic pollution.

It seems for some reason the epidemic of plastic pollution is merely being swept under the carpet by the Government. Whether we as a country want to face up to it or not, plastic is destroying our beautiful landscape and waters surrounding our island.

The sad truth is we put so much time and energy into making our present lives and the foreseeable future as easy and cheap as possible that we don’t seem to care the impact this has on our Earth.

By 2015, we humans had produced 6.3 trillion tons of plastic waste. Only 9 per cent of this plastic waste was recycled! What happened to the rest? It was disposed of in landfills that literally fill our planet with the leftovers of what we have consumed.

In 2016 Simon Coveney wrote to the European Commission to inform it of the then-government’s plan to introduce legislation banning microbeads in 2017.

Despite this there has been no commitment to putting the ban in place.

There needs to be a levy imposed on all single-use plastic items. We need a deposit scheme for the return of drink containers and bottles. We need designated public bins clearly labelled for recycling and waste. We need to impose a new programme within schools and workplaces, educating people on how to recycle correctly. Please do something about this problem. Don’t just ignore it. – Yours, etc,

EMILY O’MEARA,

Banteer,

Cork.