Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Ceisteanna (236)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

236. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the amount spent on bottled water and disposable coffee cups by his Department to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48182/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

In January this year, the Government approved a number of environmental initiatives by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment. It was decided that Government Departments and public bodies should lead the way in reducing generation of single use plastics and waste. This decision recognises that the public sector must demonstrate its commitment to sustainable development and use its influence to persuade others of the changes required to reduce our impact on the environment.

In this regard, the information requested by the Deputy is not readily available in respect of all the Department's locations and is currently being compiled. It will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as possible.

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A
On 4 January this year, the Government approved a number of environmental initiatives by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment.  It was decided that Government Departments and public bodies should lead the way in reducing generation of single use plastics and waste. This decision recognises that the public sector must demonstrate its commitment to sustainable development and use its influence to persuade others of the changes required to reduce our impact on the environment.  
In line with the Government Decision my Department has ceased the use of single use plastics in all of its canteen facilities.  All stocks of plastic beverage containers, cutlery, straws etc. were used up by the end of March and they have now been replaced with either compostable or metal alternatives.  This was done in conjunction with an awareness campaign across the Department to make staff aware of the societal benefit of eliminating the use of single-use containers by replacing them with reusable containers. 
Earlier this year, my Department wrote to all state bodies under its aegis to inform them of their obligation to cease the use of single use plastic cutlery and beverage containers.   
 
My Department has spent €4,008.21 (excluding VAT) on water which is made available to staff through standalone water cooler units in 2019 to date. These bottles are re-used by our supplier.