On 3 January 2019, the Government decided that Government Departments and public bodies will show leadership in reducing generation of single use plastics and waste. In line with that Decision, my Department has ceased purchasing single-use plastic beverage cups, cutlery and drinking straws. On 19 February 2019, my Department wrote to each of the 17 public bodies (listed below) under its aegis advising of the Government Decision and their obligations arising from this. This includes a requirement to provide a statement to me regarding the steps being taken to minimise waste and maximise recycling by 30 November 2019.
Since January, my Department has been very active in providing support materials and workshops to Government Departments and the wider public sector to enable them to comply with the decision. Feedback has been extremely positive and I am very encouraged by the interest and initiative being shown across the public service for this activity.
Action 140 of the Climate Action Plan 2019 commits Government to maintaining leadership in taking responsibility for own resource consumption, particularly single use plastics, energy waste and water. Under that Action, Government Departments must publish a Resource Efficiency Action Plan by end September and Public Bodies must report on sustainability measures by end of the year. In 2020, my Department is committed to extending this initiative further.
· Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU);
· An Post;
· Broadcasting Authority of Ireland;
· Bórd na Móna
· Digital Hub Development Agency;
· Environmental Protection Agency;
· Inland Fisheries Ireland;
· Irish National Petroleum Agency;
· Loughs Agency;
· National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA);
· Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI);
· Mining Board.