Ireland already holds the unenviable position of being the top producer of plastic waste in Europe
Most people in Ireland are anxious to “pass on plastic” as the extent of the country’s addiction the synthetic material emerges.
Nearly two thirds say they have seen plastics in local rivers, lakes and seas and have concern that the country’s plastic waste is increasing.
Most people (85%) are concerned by Ireland’s plastic usage and 82% believe it is one of the most serious issues facing the country.
Sky Ocean Rescue has launched in Ireland using their plastic whale, Poly, in a bid to highlight the plastic waste problem.
Poly is made from the same amount of plastic that pollutes the ocean every second and has already travelled across Europe, visiting a number of major cities including London, Brussels, Rome and Leipzig.
Ireland already holds the unenviable position of being the top producer of plastic waste in Europe — producing 61kg of plastic waste per person each year.
There are 22m plastic bottles bought every week in Ireland and if they were laid end to end they would reach the city of Boston in the United States.
Research commissioned by Sky Ocean Rescue shows that while 84% of people in Ireland use reusable bags, only 8% avoid items packaged in plastic.
Fewer than one in 10 people feel they can avoid items packaged in plastics due to lack of alternatives that would allow them to live plastic-free lives.
Sky Ocean Rescue said they found there is a strong public desire to see the Government and business take the lead and inspire others to “pass on plastic”.
Managing director of Sky Ireland, JD Buckley, said they launched Sky Ocean Rescue in Ireland to encourage people to make easy, simple changes to stop their island being surrounded by plastic.
There are many everyday changes that people can make to reduce plastic waste — from using a refillable plastic bottle to saying no to straws and taking reusable bags.
Agriculture and Food Minister Michael Creed, who commended Sky Ocean Rescue for showing leadership on the issue, said marine litter harm the oceans and the life within them: “To properly harness our ocean wealth, this is a challenge we need to tackle so that we can protect the greatest national resource that Ireland has — the sea that surrounds our island.”
We were treated to a little accoustic session from @TheRiptideMovement's latest single, #PlasticOceans released on Friday! Reminding us all about why we should #PassOnPlastic! 🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/meLGFYWXHD— Sky Ocean Rescue (@SkyOceanRescue) June 13, 2018
Television presenter Amanda Byram and rock band the Riptide Movement are supporting the campaign.
Ms Bryam said she has made small changes to her own life to reduce plastic waste such as passing on plastic water bottles, straws, bags and coffee cups: “But there’s still more we can all do; we need to work together to make a difference.”
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