A new EU Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment is due to be finalised and published shortly. This Directive, once transposed into Irish law, will enable me to ban the following plastic items from being placed on the market from 2021:
- Cotton bud sticks
- Sticks for balloons
- Expanded polystyrene food containers
- Expanded polystyrene cups and beverage containers.
In addition to this, the Government has decided that Government Departments would not purchase single-use plastic cups, cutlery and drinking straws from 1 January 2019. This decision was extended to all public bodies and commercial state agencies under the aegis of Ministers with effect from 1 April 2019.