Most of us have become super-conscious of how much plastic we use as of late. Most people now have reusable water bottles and coffee cups and metal and paper straws are becoming popular substitutes for plastic.
Now, Ireland is set to phase out plastic products such as straws, cotton buds and cutlery within the next two years, starting next month.
In March, The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of phasing out the use of such products by the year 2021. The issue was brought forward by the European Commission last year after documentaries like Blue Planet highlighted the damage that was being done to marine wildlife from single-use plastic waste.
Earlier today, it was announced that people in the UK will no longer be able to use these products, so Irish people are calling for authorities to follow suit and roll out such a ban sooner than 2021.
Mindy O’Brien from Voice Ireland explained that although this is a step in the right direction, other major behaviours have to be changed in order to combat climate change.
She said, “I’ll still buy the bag of carrots or I’ll still buy lots of little pots of yoghurt… Recycling is good but we have to look at how we can prevent the creation of that waste in the first place.
“We’re concerned about climate change, but we’re still taking our cars into town, we’re still using cars everywhere, we’re buying that big SUV.”
Earlier this year, the government announced that they will no longer be using single-use plastic products in their offices. Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton said that the government would “lead the way” in combating the issue of plastic pollution.