Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Questions (525)

Denis Naughten


525. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health if his Department has ceased the purchase and use of single-use plastics; the public bodies and agencies under his remit to which he has issued an instruction to cease the purchase and use of single-use plastics; when the instruction issued; the bodies which have confirmed that they no longer purchase and use single-use plastics, respectively; the bodies which have not provided such confirmation to date; when they will confirm; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29987/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

My Department is working closely with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment identifying specific actions aimed at promoting public sector behaviours which are consistent with the Government’s environmental policy. 

As a Department we are well advanced in these areas and have initiated multiple internal initiatives, including the elimination of use and purchase of bottled water and single-use plastic cups in Q3 2018. 

My Department has further extended its commitment to leadership in this area by ensuring that our recently appointed canteen service provider is committed to the same behaviours while also embracing the Department’s healthy options policy. From its inception in January 2019, I am delighted to report that all single-use plastic cups, packaging and even cutlery have been eliminated from the food service and replaced with either recyclable or compostable alternatives. In addition, our canteen service provider is the first catering company to achieve a 3-star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association for on-site food service.

In March of 2019, I wrote to all of the non HSE bodies under the aegis of my Department requesting status on progress towards the implementation of these initiatives which are required to be fully implemented by November 2019.

To date the following bodies have confirmed the cessation of purchase and use of single use plastics:


The Mental Health Commission (MHC)


The Dental Council

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI)

The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA)

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI)

My Department continues to work with the following bodies to ensure full compliance by the November deadline:

An Bord Altranais

Council & Registration Board (CORU)

Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS)

National Cancer Registry Board (NCRB)

National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF)

Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council

Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI)


The Health Research Board (HRB)

The Health Insurance Authority (HIA)