In the climate action plan we have committed to leading the way in reducing single use plastics are working at both national and EU level to tackle the problem. On 12 June 2019, the EU published its Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment. The Directive aims to deal with the top ten single use plastic items that cause 70% of marine litter. Ireland supported the ambition throughout negotiations and I am committed to transposing this Directive as soon as possible.
Work has already commenced on delivering key elements of the Directive. I have commissioned a national study into how we can deliver a 90% collection target for single use plastic drinks bottles in Ireland. The EPA has begun consultation with stakeholders in relation to the new reporting requirements contained in the Directive. My officials are commencing consultation with the industries to which new Extended Producer Responsibility obligations will apply. My Department are also considering measures for the reduction in consumption of single use plastic food containers and cups for beverages. The Government has also 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.