Local Authority are asking for the public’s assistance to make Waterford the cleanest county in Ireland this summer through the Green Your Picnic Campaign.
- More than 2.25 million single use plastic bottle and cups are used in Ireland each Bank Holiday Weekend; refill cups and bottles can significantly reduce this waste.
Waterford City & County Council is asking for the public’s help in ensuring the county’s beaches, parks and beauty spots are amongst the cleanest in Ireland this summer, as the local authority launches a new waste and litter prevention campaign: Green Your Picnic.
Key to the campaign is the people of the Déise’s assistance in keeping millions of single use cups, bottles and cutlery from ending up in the waste system or as litter.
Each day in Ireland more than half a million single use coffee cups and close to a quarter of a million single use plastic bottles are used in Ireland, the equivalent of 2.25million single use cups and bottles over a bank holiday weekend.
Just removing single use items from the family picnics or bench dining with friends would significantly reduce Ireland’s waste output.
By reducing single use items for picnics and outdoor events this summer, staycationers and day-trippers will also reduce the amount of litter they need to bring home for disposal.
Mayor of Waterford City & County Council Cllr Damien Geoghegan explained, “The Summer months of June, July and August 2021 will see an increase number of people holidaying at home, taking day trips and visiting all public amenities in the county. As evidenced from the Summer of 2020, these staycations will result in pressure on waste disposal at these locations.
“We are asking people therefore to bring their litter home with them after they have enjoyed the many beautiful outdoor sites Waterford City and County has to offer, and to use reusable items wherever and whenever possible. Leaving no trace and reducing the amount of single use items is not difficult and in fact can be quite fun. Over the coming weeks Waterford City & County Council will run the Green Your Picnic campaign on media and social media, as well as a number of workshops outlining some simple ways we can all make a difference this summer, while also having many stress free, memorable trips throughout the county.”
Environmental Awareness Officer with Waterford City and County Council Ella Ryan said, “Simply using reusable cups and bottles is a great way to minimise the amount of waste generated. It is worth noting that reusables were not banned during the Covid-19 pandemic. Government policy continues to promote contactless coffee and advocates for reusable options. There are also a number of free tap water points in businesses, public buildings and outdoor locations across the county. This saves us all from bringing large bottles of single use bottled water with us on our day trips, allowing us to fill up as we go,” she advised.
As part of the Green Your Picnic Campaign Waterford City & County Council will host a series of online workshops from Tuesday June 15 to Thursday June 17, 2021.
“By following these simple tips and life hacks holiday makers and day trippers can help protect Waterford’s beauty spots from litter and reduce unnecessary waste, all the while saving money, supporting small businesses and improving their outdoor experience,” said Ms Ryan.
Waterford City & County Council’s Green Your Picnic Workshop Details:
- Tuesday June 15, 2021 at 10 am.
Session 1: Green Your Picnic tips with a show and tell of different single use swaps that can be made from what people will often have around their house.
- Wednesday 16t June 16 at 10am
Session 2: Reuse with speaker from Refill and Conscious Cup highlighting the impact of single use and advising how to use map/reusable safely e.g. contactless coffee.
- Thursday June 17 at 10 am
Session 3: Reduce the impact of your litter on the area with speaker from Leave No Trace.
Single use cups:
Prior to the pandemic, it was estimated that 500 billion single use cups were discarded to landfill or incineration every year globally. That’s one million cups a minute, every hour of every day of every year. In Ireland it’s estimated that we disposed of 22,000 per hour every day, and as a result of the pandemic this number has increased significantly.
The Conscious Cup campaign promotes contactless coffee and advocates for reusable options. Reusable refers to crockery if consuming on a premises or using your own reusable cup or participating in a deposit return scheme for beverages on the go. Over 500 businesses accepting reusables are listed on the Conscious Cup map but there are even more businesses than that gladly accepting reusables including chains such as Starbucks, Costa and Rosa Coffee.
Single Use Plastic Bottles:
According to Voice 220,000 plastic bottles were generated each day in Ireland prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and this number has increased since then. 69% of them were not recycled as there are very few recycling points outside of home and especially “on the go”. Refill Ireland (refill.ie) started in 2017 and works to encourage the creation of refill locations for tap water. There are now 1,500 free tap water points across the country and they are provided by businesses such as cafes and pubs as well public buildings and outdoor locations like parks, walks and greenways