We need to show leadership on waste reduction

19 July 2018

Labour Party Environment spokesperson, Senator Ivana Bacik, has called on the Government to ban non-compostable coffee cups in tandem with introducing the latte levy.

This comes as a Recycling List Ireland report has found that 200 million coffee cups are thrown away in Ireland every year.

Senator Bacik commented:

“The report published today by Recycling List Ireland is an eye-opener to the fact that 200 million non-recyclable coffee cups are thrown away in Ireland every year. This level of waste that cannot be recycled is worrying.

“As well as introducing a levy on takeaway coffee cups, which the Labour Party proposed in our alternative budget, the Government should consider implementing the Waste Reduction Bill which passed second stage in the Dáil in the summer.

“A levy without an overall plan to ban non-compostable coffee cups lacks long-term vision from the Government.

“We know there has been a surge in sales of re-usable travel cups which shows that people are changing their behaviour when it comes to takeaway coffee cups. People are becoming more conscious of the waste that paper cups create.

“Many coffee shops are to be commended for introducing biodegradable coffee cups and discounts for those who use reusable cups.

“Minister Naughten has contacted all supermarket CEOs asking them to cut down on non-recyclable plastic, while this is welcome, it does not go far enough to encourage the use of reducing our plastic usage.

“The European Union already has plans in train to ban the use of non-recyclable plastics by 2030. We now need to take steps across the board to phase out the use of all non-recyclable plastic completely. There is simply no need for it and Ireland, as an island nation, must show leadership.