JUST when the country was beginning to take seriously and tackle the scourge of single-use plastics, along came the Covid-19 pandemic, which has seen a necessary increase in their use in the form of personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as more individual packaging of food items in supermarkets for hygiene purposes.
As with all such campaigns, individual buy-in is crucial to their success and people interested in helping the country to attain the key UN sustainability goal for the elimination of all non-essential single-use plastic packaging by 2030, estimated at 70% of current global consumption, would do well to heed and follow the advice of a new Irish start-up called CUSP, which stands for Cease Using Single-use Plastic.
Cork households generate a combined 32,900 tonnes of single-use plastic packaging waste annually. To achieve 70% reductions by 2030, Cork needs to reduce single-use plastic waste from its current volume to 9,900 tonnes annually by 2030, requiring an average annual reduction of 2,300 tonnes.
In order to help achieve the UN goal, CUSP is asking householders to reduce their single-use plastic waste by just 1kg each month, equivalent in weight to 18 empty two-litre plastic drinks bottles.