Fórsa has welcomed the announcement of a ban on the use of single use plastics and other pollutants in the civil and public service, and says it will work with Government departments to implement the new policy.
The move follows last week’s Government decision that state departments, public bodies and schools are to stop buying single-use plastic cups, cutlery and straws, except where specific hygiene or safety issues arise.
Climate change minister Richard Bruton also ordered government departments to develop ‘resource efficiency action plans’ by the end of June to “help staff make savings in energy and water use, as well as preventing food waste and maximising recycling.”
Bruton also promised that new environmental national public procurement policy proposals would be finalised by the end of March. And he said all public bodies would be required to report on measures to minimise waste and maximise recycling by November.
A Fórsa spokesperson said the union fully supported the objective of a just transition to a carbon-free Ireland.
“We welcome any initiative aimed at improving the State’s so-far lamentable response to the challenges of climate change. We look forward to working with Government departments and state agencies to develop and implement the practical measures needed to eliminate single-use plastics and other pollutants, cut waste, and improve environmental sustainability more generally across the civil and public services,” they said.
Minister Bruton said the Government was implementing the measures ahead of expected EU rules that will target the ten most prevalent single-use plastic products found on Europe's beaches and seas. Together with lost and abandoned fishing gear, these account for 70% of all marine litter.
The proposal includes a ban on certain single use plastic products such as plastic straws, cutlery, cotton buds and balloon sticks.