I am fully committed to discouraging the use of single use plastics as evidenced by the fact that I secured Government approval in January this year to ban the purchase of some commonly used single use plastic items by Government Departments and all public bodies and state agencies under the aegis of Ministers.
I am awaiting the final adoption of a Directive from the EU which will enable me to take more concrete measures to ban certain single use plastics and make the producers of others responsible for some waste management and clean up costs.
I firmly believe that education is an essential tool in preventing the use of unnecessary plastic and managing the waste arising from it. To assist in the provision of information to the public, my Department, in conjunction with the Regional Waste Management Planning Offices, launched a new website in November 2018, www.mywaste.ie . This website provides consumers with a single information resource on all aspects of domestic waste management in Ireland and in particular it focuses on the provision of advice on managing waste more responsibly and efficiently. In addition, I provide funding to the EPA for the National Waste Prevention Programme which supports a Local Authority Prevention Network (LAPN). The LAPN is provided with grant aid and technical support to deliver local prevention initiatives, thereby raising awareness and delivering behavioural change at local level. Many LAPN initiatives have focussed on plastic waste prevention, through working with businesses, community groups, schools, public authorities and event management companies.